As the years go by, I'm always trying to figure out how to make the upkeep of my landscaping and gardens less labor intensive without sacrificing the beauty they afford. I go back and forth - should I hire someone to help me? Should I turn the beds back into grass? Should I convert the perennial beds into shrub beds? In the midst of this ongoing thought process, I came across the article "The Long-Lived Landscape" in the April 2010 issue of Country Living magazine, which reminded me again of the importance of continuing to create beauty, even when we feel squeezed by physical and financial limitations. The aging author tells the following story:
"Violinist Itzhak Perlman was crippled by polio in childhood and walks with the aid of braces on his legs and pair of crutches. At a concert...in New York City, one of the strings of his violin suddenly snapped during the performance. Stunned, the audience held their collective breath, expecting Perlman to stop and leave the stage. Instead he paused, then continued playing - adjusting, creating, compensating as he went along, and when he put down his bow at the end of the concert, a mighty roar of applause filled the hall. When it had died down, he spoke to the audience: "You know, sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left."
Sometimes the very things that seem to be squeezing the life out of us are the very things that cause us to create even more beauty.
May God give you the inspiration to create beauty out of your particular hardships!