“It’s no use…you’ll never get all the root up. It will come back next year.”
One of our expert gardener Sisters was relaying the story of another Sister who once expended an enormous amount of energy trying to dig up dandelion roots so that they would not come back next year. She ended the story by saying that, sure enough, the dandelions did indeed return the following spring. I suppose many a gardener might consider dandelions to be a scourge on beautiful lawns and gardens, but I developed a different perspective during my recent stay at Monastery Immaculate Conception for the Novices and Directors Institute. As I walked along a gravel path near the Marian Shrine, I stopped in my tracks before the courageous little yellow face of a dandelion that grew up from underneath the rocky path. Despite the lack of air, sun, and good soil condition that might prevent other flowers from growing beneath a gravel path, this dandelion showed me that new life can spring up even in the most unwelcoming and impossible places. Whenever I see flowers growing in the cracks of sidewalks or from underneath gravel paths, or trees flourishing from the side of a rock outcropping, I am in awe at the resiliency of nature and the creative power of God.
It gives me hope regarding my own growth. Whenever I get discouraged about those dark, hard, rocky places within me where change and growth seems either to stall or never begin, those dandelions and trees growing out of rock outcroppings remind me that God considers all of me to be fertile ground into which the seeds of love can be planted and grown.
Sister Ann Marie Wainright
Sister Ann Marie Wainright is a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she worked as a CPA for many years before earning dual masters degrees in counseling and pastoral studies. Sister Ann Marie is interested how people encounter God in their daily lives and how they use their faith and spirituality in Sister Ann Marie’s blogs.