Friday, June 29, 2012

A Creative Writing Project

I have been greatly inspired through the writers group at my church. At the end of one of our April meetings, our art director, deAnn, asked us to consider a homework assignment. She simply encouraged us to write something about spring. I knew I wanted to write about the small memorial garden I had planted for my husband, Buck. I was surprised by what came forth that day as I sat before my computer. Here is what God inspired me to write: something very different from my usual style and totally out of my box. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it. 

Writing has become my passion and a very powerful healing tool in my life. Thank you for continuing to follow my journey after all this time. You have blessed me with your interest.

I’m not really sure where or when my existence began. It’s a mystery it seems, as I have lived all of my life in total darkness. Being a member of the plant kingdom I have no intellect. But this much I know: my life is very much about patience and waiting.

I recall clinging to my mother as I developed. My root system is entwined with that of my mom’s and my body is firm, teardrop shaped and covered with a papery, purple skin. Oh, and Mom likes to call me Sprout, much to my embarrassment!

Hyacinth Bulb and Section.

Photo credit:

I ask a lot of questions, because it’s pretty boring down here. But Mom always answers joyfully, because she has become very skilled in the art of endurance and contentment. When I complain that I am cold, she encourages me to snuggle closer. When I whine about my boredom, she smiles and tells me stories about our ancestors. And she describes places where they have shown up throughout the ages. Maybe one of these days, I’ll become a history lover, or perhaps I’ll learn not to be a whiner.

Whenever my impatience is evident, my mom tells me to rest, because soon the ground will warm and the worms will tickle and tease, as they too are anxious to come out of hibernation.  I’m not sure, since I’m a newbie around here, but they might help me make my grand entrance, when the time comes.
Recently, Mama sensed my restlessness and decided that this was the day she would share a favorite story. She began by explaining that several years ago there was a woman who had planted a small garden in front of her new home. This took place in the autumn and was to be a memorial garden in memory of her husband. He had moved from her world into his eternal home in heaven. The garden would be composed of three kinds of flowers: daffodils, hyacinths and bleeding hearts. The gardener worked hard, and lovingly planted the bulbs with high hopes as she remembered her best friend in this sentimental way. The bleeding hearts would be planted when the warm weather returned.

The woman was heart-broken, and she wept as she prepared the garden bed to receive Mama’s onion-like body and those of her lily cousins. Mama spoke with compassion as she remembered that day, and added that God was there too, collecting the gardener’s tears in His bottle, for they are as precious as diamonds to Him. Then she told me about the brutal winter that followed, and how she and her cousins waited patiently for the warm season to arrive.

Photo Credit:

Spring finally dawned and Mama was so excited to stretch and make her way through the soil. This was before my time, of course. According to my mom, she and her relatives put on quite a colorful show. She was greatly outnumbered by the golden daffodil family. She could hardly wait to meet her gardener again! Mama said the woman cried once more, as she was greeted by her colorful new friends when spring finally arrived. But this time, her sadness was mixed with great joy after a long winter of anticipation!

“But I don’t understand, Mama. How can the gardener be joyful and sad at the
same time?” “I know it’s hard to comprehend, Sprout, but humans are hard to figure out. Just know this, my child. The gardener will always cherish us for several reasons. You see, we are hyacinths and we have a fragrance that is strong and heavenly. I’m told the origin of our name comes from a gem, perhaps the sapphire, which is a deep blue precious stone. We too, are a gorgeous royal blue color and our garden lady friend has a passion for all things blue. And probably most importantly to her, is the reality that hyacinths were her husbands favorite flower and sapphire was his birthstone.”

Caring for Hyacinth Bulbs thumbnail
Photo credit:  bulbs
“God created us to bring color, fragrance, and beauty into a winter weary world. He also made us to bring happiness and smiles to all who find us. We are privileged to bring such joy and healing to a brokenhearted lady, just by our presence. But no matter where we might bloom...even if no one ever sees us, we will be bringing glory and delight to our creator! Now in my humble opinion, that's a pretty special assignment and well worth waiting for!” 

Copyright 2012 by Renee' Barnhouse
All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means- electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopy, or any other, without permission. Thank you.  


  1. Renee, that was so beautifully written. Tears flowed as I saw you preparing and planting that garden in Buck's memory and then again as I saw you rejoicing in the beauty of it when spring brought it alive. Hyacinths are so beautiful, aren't they. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement, Candy! I'm excited about the new directions the Lord is taking my writing. It has been rewarding and fun! Thanks for stopping by and taking your time to leave a comment. I pray you are doing well and healing day by day. Hugs for you, my friend.~R~

  2. This is so beautiful Renee! When you read it to us, I couldn't keep the tears in. It must have been a deeply moving experience to write this. I love it.

    1. Emily, thanks for your kind words. Truth is, I can't remember my experience as I wrote this piece. However, I do recall the emotions that would show up each time I re-read it as I was tweaking it. If you might remember, most of us read each other's pieces during that critiquing. DeAnn and Brooke (I think) read through mine. I never would have gotten through it. It had a powerful impact for certain. A friend of mine suggested I submit it to a gardening magazine for publication. I thinking about that.