"Wow. Can you believe it?"
"I know. I love it."
We walked through the empty rooms, our shoes resounding on the hardwoods, our voices echoing off the walls.
We had just said goodbye to the former homeowners who had stopped by to pick up a few remaining belongings. Bill and Linda, a nice retired couple, had poured their heart and soul into this house during the two decades they lived here. Now they were on their way to their new home in Florida, and we were beginning our new life together in this one.
"Come look at the view of the back yard. It really is like being in the woods."
I walked over to the window and took his hand. "I know. I love it too," I said again.
Although the landscape was dormant and drab this cold February afternoon, we could tell that Linda and Bill loved gardening. They had laid a walkway made of pavers, built flower beds edged with brick, and set up a bird house and bird bath. Azalea bushes dotted the landscape, waiting to bloom in profusion the following month.
One of my favorite spots in the yard was an old iron gate embedded in one of the flower beds. Two bushes, loaded with thorns, were loosely trained around it. Even though neither of us knew anything about growing roses, I was certain we would learn.
But we didn't. Our priority was our marriage and our daughter, and our new church and community. In the meantime, we had two houses of furniture and belongings to condense into one. We had a family to blend. Other things would have to wait.
Through the years, the roses became less healthy and actually proved a potential hazard for our dog, who would fly by at top speed as she chased the deer away from our fence. We were afraid the thorns would get caught in her skin or eyes, so we dug the ailing bushes up. Soon after, the rusted gate disintegrated.
Our daughter grew up, our dog grew old and gray. We added flowering trees, pink azaleas, hydrangeas, and shrubs to the front yard and a dry creek bed and plants to the back to slow erosion. The landscape has changed quite a bit, but there's still so much to do. (Isn't that always the case?)
Then last week, I glanced out the window and saw something pink. Several somethings pink, in fact. Roses! Another bush blocked it from my view, but I could tell there were at least 6-8 blooms lying close to the ground. A leftover cutting must have taken root, and because we don't often walk in that area, we haven't noticed it before.
Someone else, Bill and Linda, planted that rose bush years ago. We haven't thought of it in years, and now there it is. Blooming and growing and offering up its beauty.
Maybe because of the stage of life we are in (empty nesters with a daughter in college), I've been thinking a lot lately about legacy. What sort of legacy are we planting in her life? Will we one day be surprised and delighted to see it blooming in her?
Were my parents surprised and delighted to see their legacy blooming in me?
Many other people, some I don't even know, like C. S. Lewis, have planted seeds of goodness, truth, and beauty in my life. The legacy that I've received makes me want to share it with others, and the unexpected beauty of that little rose bush inspires me to do so.
What sort of legacy do you see blooming in your life? Where are you sowing seeds in someone else's life? I'm fascinated by this idea of legacy, so leave a comment. And if you have any advice on taking care of a little pop-up rose bush, I would love to hear that, too.
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