It’s been a long dry season in the southern tip of Africa we call home. Far too many dry days, not enough rain. Far too little of the precious water we need to sustain life. And yet, stepping into my garden today, there is evidence of life.
Months and months and months of depending solely on the little rain that has fallen but suddenly, in the dead of winter, feisty little buds are popping up their pretty heads. Their beauty astounds me and it dawns on me… this garden is hope!
My garden is largely indigenous so, unlike all the wilting exotics, the plants endured for some time, somehow managing to hold onto life despite the lack of water. But, as summer dragged on and on, even the native peninsula flora appeared to be losing their struggle to survive. Despite the buckets of shower water so fastidiously saved for the garden, a withered stump here, a dried out stem there, all seemed to indicate that the drought was winning.
At least that’s how it appeared above ground but, all the while, unseen, unnoticed, buried beneath the top layer of soil, little dried out roots were desperately clinging to hope. Hope that one day the rains would come.
And rain has come. Not in the quantities we so desperately need. Not even as much as the little we had last year. Almost certainly not enough to get us through another summer. But rain has come. A storm here, a shower there. And in the dark unseen, little roots drank thirstily, greedily slaking their aching thirst, sending tendrils deeper into the earth. Little stems began to sprout. First one then another and then… an explosion of green.
First the white and blue of the wild irises … daring to bloom at the mere promise of rain. Arrayed like sentries they speak hope… “Rain is on it’s way.”
And now? A burst of colour; magenta azaleas, orange strelitzias and deep purple irises. Clivia, adorned with buds, just waiting for the right moment to burst forth in all their glory.
And that is the beauty of hope. Holding on long after it seems there is nothing left to hold on to. Abiding tenaciously in the sure knowledge that if we can just hold on long enough, our hope will bear fruit.
It’s been a long dry season in the Cape Peninsula. (just like the dry seasons in life, it’s not the first and won’t be the last). Despite it all, there is life in the garden.
Nature endures and her survival whispers to us, “hold on… hold on… keep holding on. Don’t give up. If we can just hold on long enough, the rains will surely come.”
Those who endure, overcome.