[Oh the tangled web of weeds]
Once upon a time in a jaunty garden far far away, lived two lively seedlings named Short and Sprout. From the day they were planted the two had grown very close–so close in fact that the rest of the seedlings in the garden considered them the very best of friends. These strong vibrant shoots were frequently seen leaning upon one another through the warm gentle breezes and the revitalizing late spring rain. Happily the two would sway to and fro, their hopes and dreams coursing through every fiber of their being. Though they spoke not words, the two seedlings understood each other well and considered themselves very fortunate to have been planted so very close indeed.
One day however, the two seedlings began to grow apart as weeds began to force their way up through the soil beneath them–causing both Short and Sprout to twist and bend in an awkward sort of way–one towards the left, the other towards the right. Several days passed, and the weather too began to change. Rain no longer fell as precious dewy droplets upon the raised bed in which they’d been planted. Once so vividly green, without vital daily nourishment their colour began to fade, and they took on a unhealthy pallid countenance. In the heat of the noonday sun they grew exceedingly parched, and the once refreshingly cool soil beneath them became dry and cracked. It wasn’t long before both Short and Sprout began to wilt in the sweltering heat. Hope began to wane.
Finally, and mercifully, the sun relented. The day grew dim and grey as the rain clouds rolled in; but their hopes of those precious thirst quenching jewels–that once fell so extravagantly from the sky–were dashed; not a single drop of rain fell. If that wasn’t discouraging enough, a family of aphids took up residence upon Sprout and began to nibble upon his tender leaves. It wasn’t long before that hope that once shone so brightly upon the horizon was all but a fading memory. Life began to look so painfully bleak.
The days felt long; their moods grew short. Once airy open spaces, grew stuffy and crowded; these invaders that claimed the turf between and around them had overtaken them at a rather alarming rate. Short was now lost in the unruly creepers that surrounded him, and Sprout who had been experiencing a growth spurt–and was easily twice as tall as Short–had suddenly stopped growing. To top it all off, Short had developed some sort of fungus, and he was certain that he’d soon be all but compost, as he withered away into the soil.
Then one day the clouds rolled back and the sun shone more radiant then they’d ever seen the sun beam in all their days. Both Short and Sprout looked up through the weeds longingly–wistfully remembering what it felt like to sway in the gentle breeze. The world around them had grown far too dark and uncertain–choking and imprisoning them in defeat.
Short’s fungal infection was beginning to itch something fierce now, and this wall of weeds that had grown increasingly thick separated him completely from his very best friend. Sprout too continued to experience problems of his own; A morbidly obese slug was headed in his direction with a rather ravenous look in it’s eye!
Panic stricken, sprout lifted his withering leaves with every intention of tearing at the weeds that had ensnared him; but it was no use; there wasn’t an ounce of strength left in him. Even if he could somehow escape this wicked web of weeds, he was so firmly planted in the ground. There’d be no escape this day.
On the other side of the barrier that divided these two imprisoned seedlings, a butterfly had landed on a leaning daisy that towered high above this dense living canopy. Short’s view was limited through the beastly vines but that flicker of colour made for a somewhat pleasant reprieve from his dark grey thoughts.
Then something unexpected happened! Something was shaking the earth! That’s when Sprout saw these two enormous hands reach down from the sky. Both hands began to decimate the surrounding and offending foliage. One by one their enemies were being vanquished–pulled up by their roots! ‘These are the hands that planted us!’ thought Sprout excitedly.
Short too, his view no longer obscured, looked on in thankful amazement and awe. Though the rotund land slug that appeared dead set on having Sprout for lunch had been moving rather–dare I say it–sluggishly, Sprout knew that slowly but surely he was bound to be one delectable micro salad! As the weeds were pulled up however, with them went the slug too, who flew through the air with the greatest of ease. This unsuspecting gastropod never knew what hit him; and Sprout was finally able to breath a great big sigh of relief.
Soon the ground had been stripped clean but for the two humble seedlings and their beloved bedfellows. Both Short and Sprout were now once again able to stretch out their leaves, reaching up towards the sky in their attempt to work out all of their ailing kinks. They both looked way up gratefully into their Caretakers face, towards the One who had planted them; the One who had also tended to their weeds, and was now tending to every other need. Short’s fungus was being treated, and Sprout who had stopped growing, now looked forward to the future with great hopes of becoming a strapping and sturdy young plant. If they’d had voices to raise, they were both certain that they’d have cried out and praised the One who had saved them; they hoped that somehow He understood how very grateful they truly were for all that He had done.
Water poured mercifully over them refreshingly from a large vessel, and then they were given all the nutritional support they needed to continue to thrive and grow. Finally they were both rejuvenated by a misty spray which caused Sprouts aphid cling-ons to drop like flies. They already felt so alive–ready for the future they’d now been so graciously given, and thankful for the cherished opportunity to be given a fresh start.