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  • Writer's pictureHazel Lee


Updated: Apr 23, 2022


It’s like growing tomatoes. Same principle. In a scene from the movie, Steel Magnolias, Shirley MacLaine summed it up best when she shouted out, ‘Growing tomatoes is what southern ladies do,’ even though she comments she hates them.

I grew up on fresh vegetables from our garden in the South. We lived a simple life. No microwaves, one telephone, one television, one bathroom, no dishwasher, except me, no ice makers, only ice cube trays of course, and no air conditioning. Our air conditioning was a 20” fan blowing the curtains off the windows and walls in every room, but we somehow survived. At least I think I turned out ok.

Growing anything fascinates me. There is something explosive in nature that happens when I see a small bean, dropped into the earth. It sticks its little head up in a matter of days, reminding me of the parable about seeds. Jesus compared them to man. Proper soil, proper planting and proper maintenance are the three most important things to grow anything.

Eliminate one of those steps, and the entire process is interrupted. Dying to one’s self meant to me being resurrected in Christ. There it was. Simple. To the point. Since I am a visionary, I can relate. Watching tall sunflowers grow, showing their big smiley faces, what could be more beautiful. I love seeing fields of sunflowers. Have you noticed how they turn their faces toward the sun as it moves? Nature surprises me all the time.

And so it is with man; mind, body, and spirit in perfect harmony. Let one of those three combinations be neglected, it will cause the rest to stop growing. Like a three-legged stool, let one leg break, the entire stool is broken. I will let you meditate on that a moment.

Speaking of nature, guess who came Sunday afternoon visiting in my rose garden while digging in my roses? When his head perked up, I had to take a picture. Turns out he was a broad-head skink, about six inches long from the lizard family. My goodness, what kind of name is that? UGLY! He went on his merry way and I did too.

Our local nature center identified him once I sent them a picture. The sweet young lady who answered the phone was ecstatic when she saw the pictures. “COOL!” She exclaimed. Really? She had only seen one, ever! She was so nice but, I’m sorry, that sounded plain weird to me. I told her she could see mine, but nope, I was not picking that rascal up. He went back to his happy home at my house and I did too. There is definitely plenty room.

Another unexpected blessing happened this past week. I had the pleasure of a good friend stopping by my office for a lovely visit. Sharing his recent unexpected hardships, he commented about a beautiful quote written by Dr. Seuss that had given him great solace in various times of anguish and hurt. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

How thought-provoking. I had to read more Dr. Seuss. Others he wrote, “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” I am such a tree lover. “Why fit in, when you were born to stand out.” Finally, one of my favorites, “Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy. They just promised it would be worth it.”


My my! See what happens when we least expect it! Had I not been available to visit with my dear friend, I would not be sharing these nuggets of wisdom from Dr. Seuss with you. Perhaps, you will pass them along to a friend.

I’m purchasing a few of his books, filled with his quotes, for a not so sunny day. Next, I plan to pass them on to my friends. I pray they will receive a small seed of wisdom to use when they are going through a hard time. Thank you, dear friend, for coming by this past week. I am a better person because of you.

It’s early evening, so off to my garden I go, hoping for a glimpse of my Florida speckled butter beans peeking above the ground. Sure it would be easier to buy them at Walmart, but then I would have missed out on the osmosis and anticipation of seeing nature do its thing, not to mention those backaches.

Keep growing, and let God show off His amazing beauty of spring In you. After years of entering my roses in national rose competitions, I won a blue ribbon for my Mr. Lincoln red rose. One of the national ARA rose judges commented to me afterward, “you let God keep growing them, and you keep showing them.” I assured him I would. Such kind words. You can see God everywhere in nature.

You are my sunshine my only sunshine.......things in life that are important are not things, my friends!

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