In the Guatemalan gardens, the land blooms its harvest plenty. The land rests to replenish. The land is set ablaze to nourish future harvests. The land blooms again. Every piece contributes to life and to each other.
I crave the blooming seasons, celebrate them, encourage them to last and last. But there is no bloom without the burn. There is no restoration without the rest. And there is no life without each happening together at the same time within the patchwork of our lives—the bloom, the rest, the burn.
You and I and those we meet are all three, a garden of milpas ever-rotating, always preparing for the next blooming, always preparing for the next rest and rotation, always ready to be set on fire. Our lives are not separate seasons. Rather they a patchwork quilt of seasons within seasons. Fruit and soil and flame. We are beautiful moments next to sabbath breaths next to anguish. We are laboring well, we are struggling mightily, we are learning to be still.
Bloom gives hope to others. Bloom fits well in a first-world life. But bloom is an incomplete story.
What if our greatest offering to others is more than the fruit we give—what if it is also the grit of the raw dirt, or the fragrance of all that’s being burned away in our lives and carried in smoke through the windows of those longing to breathe in hope of better lives? How might our days change if we celebrated with the same vigor and stretched out the same arms to the transformation of our dross into gold, of our tares into fertilizer for the blooms of future days? What if the bloom is the promise, the rest is the gift, and the burning itself is the blessing in the battle?