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GLADIOLAS
By Steve Wessels
Dedicated to my father
© 4-15-00


Have you ever grown gladiolas?

            And watched as the tall stalks quickly grew

                        And put on their glory?

                                    Then let them wither and die, only to

Sprout up next year and again reach for the sky?

 

But have you watched what happens the next year?

A number of small shoots spring up alongside, but put on

            Few flowers… and the parent bulb is spindly…

 

The parent, when fully grown and flowered,

            Gives birth to the new crop of children.

But unless the children are carefully dug up,

            Their roots carefully pulled apart from the parent, and

                        Planted into their own ground, with

Sufficient space and light and water and nourishment,

            The children, like the parent, become weak and spindly. 

 

The Master Gardner has so designed the gladiola, and us.

Wise parents slowly, carefully, tenderly, unwrap the

            Physical and emotional tentacles that are tightly wrapped around us

                        By our children, preparing them to be

Transplanted into their own space, in the proper time,

            So they may flourish on their own, to grow to their

                        Full potential in Christ Jesus. 

Parents dare not hold on too tightly, lest

            Both we and our children become weak and spindly,

                        Unable to reach our full potential. 

 

Yes, there will be disease, insects, winds, drought,

            And other people that may damage our precious offspring

Yes, they may still crave nourishment… and need water.

            Tender care by wise parents will result in knowing when to

Withhold the water, that the child’s roots may reach down

            To the alternative source, the Living Water underneath,                                           to form strong roots and reaches the nutrients,

That can withstand their own storm winds and time,

            To become strong enough support their own flowers and bulbs.

 

A kind word.  A tender hug.  An open door.  The freedom

            To choose, to seek, to grow, to risk and suffer. 

 

Wise parents prepare their children, giving them

            More freedom as they undertake more responsibility,

                        more space and nourishment and light

To be themselves,

            To be all that the Creator has designed them to be.   
 

 

PERMISSION FOR USE: The following may be reprinted without prior permission for non-commercial use on the condition that the text is not changed and credit is given for the copyright.

 

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Steve Wessels is no longer practicing law, and the general information contained within this website should not be relied on in any jurisdiction for legal advice. Every case turns on different facts and circumstances within the vastly different laws and procedures of each jurisdiction, and everyone who is seeking legal advice should consult an experienced attorney where they live.