If you give a house a hosing…
A couple of weeks ago we had the house pressure-washed. It had been years since we’d had it done and our poor abode was looking like some sort of displaced swamp creature, what with all the green slime and mold and such growing on the siding.
To put it mildly, the results of the blast were dramatic.
I had actually forgotten how much I like driving up to our house. It’s not fancy by any means, but it’s a welcoming two-story structure that’s mostly very pale creamy yellow siding and some brick trim. I hadn’t seen the very pale creamy yellow part in so long I’d forgotten exactly what it looked like. Add in a freshly washed deck, driveway, and sidewalk, as well as recently replaced garage doors, and suddenly this place got a major facelift that gave me a case of the happies.
It also gave me an unsettling need to do something about the front flower beds I’d given up on a few years back.
I didn’t realize that I had connected those little weed patches with the quiet hopelessness I felt about the dingy exterior of the house until the exterior of the house was sparkling again. Just as I couldn’t really visualize a pretty patch of flowers against the backdrop of our green Shrek swamp house then, I now can’t see a patch of dirt and weeds with our pretty clean house.
And this is why when I wandered into Walmart for something that had nothing to do with flowers, I came out with a lovely container full of various purple flowers and four pots of Victoria Blue Salvia and four pots of magenta Calibrachoa, also known as Million Bells. Before the evening was out Mr. Sparky and I had returned to Walmart and purchased a more of the Salvia and Calibrachoa, as well as some dusty miller, a couple of coleus, and some little mounding chartreuse plant, the name of which escapes me. And some mulch. Oh, and Mr. Sparky kept returning to a display of Pentas, and so we grabbed a couple of those to see how they’d do. I’ve never grown them and have no idea how they’ll do in the tricky front flower bed that gets a lot of light shade except for the hottest part of the day, when it gets blasted by sun. The only thing I bought that I know for sure will do well there is the blue salvia, because I’ve grown it there before, years back.
The funny thing is that I thought maybe I’d just lost interest in gardening. But the truth is that I’d lost hope in gardening. I’d lost hope that the sight of pretty flowers would bring me pleasure when their backdrop looked as it did. Without realizing it, I’d fallen into a “why bother?” mindset.
And now I’m wondering where else I may have done this.
Where else have I stopped believing that my effort can make a difference? Where else have I let go of something I love simply because I became so overwhelmed that I slid into “why bother?” Where else has hope become buried?
Something tells me I’m going to find out.