Thank you for reading my weekly newsletter. Today I want to share some thoughts that I had about chives, family, and forgiveness while weeding my garden during Father's Day.
"I'm having a problem with the chives that Aunt Irene planted in my garden," I said over the phone to Sara, my daughter.
"My chives are inside the kitchen in a pot. I don't even water them and they're still growing. They're really hardy plants," my daughter said, adding, "I don't think it's a good idea to plant them in a garden."
"Yeah," I replied. "They're taking over the garden. I saw a million blades of grass in there, and they're all chives! Why would Aunt Irene plant them there when she knew they would spread like that? I'm busy! I don't have time to babysit chives and keep them from seeding!"
I have a small, fenced-in garden in my backyard where weeds cavort and play, and plants take over. I seldom spend much time there, because I am afraid of being bitten by mosquitos.
Three years ago, Aunt Irene flew all the way from Utah to visit, and she brought a couple of dozen chives from her garden which she laboriously planted in my garden. It was a lot of work. Tears streamed down her face from the pungent smell of the chives, but she planted them in my garden with love.
The chives survived, of course. Last year I neglected the garden (even more than usual) because I had a big board exam to study for. The chives flowered (how pretty! I thought) and seeded. This year, I have chive-grass growing in my backyard. The couple of dozen chives multiplied to several thousand and if I don't do something this year, they will soon be several million.
When I told my aunt about the problem, she said that I shouldn't have let them go to seed (now she tells me!), but that I could make chive dumplings with them if I have too many chives.
On Sunday, Father's Day, I spent several hours digging them out. It was with some regret that I dug out all of them. Let's be honest, they were not a good idea to begin with, no matter how well intentioned my dear aunt was to bring them.
As sweat rolled down my back and mosquitos sucked my blood, I thought of all the well-intentioned things my father had done or not done, said or not said that were like these chives--planted years ago, hard to get rid of, and generalizing into various corners of my life if left unattended.
In order to save my garden, I had to get down on my hands and knees and pull them out. Every one. And make chive dumplings out of them.
And that's how forgiveness clears the field for new seeds to grow.
May we all survive the loving efforts of our families. :-)