Using what we have to create something new

I missed sharing the beginning of Advent with my St. Mary’s family. With the ear of my heart, I heard the music of the community. With the eyes of my heart, I saw the nearly bare manger and the new Advent wreath. As are so many things this year, it was bitter sweet.

I decided to create something new from things I already have. I had seen the idea of a living Advent wreath planted with succulents. I mulled the idea around in my head and used what was available to make my own.

I emptied a pot from outside (carefully moving the plants that were already in it). I gathered small live plants from around the house for the greenery:

A small plant that I’ve kept alive for probably nearly three decades. It came from a piece that broke off and was left behind on the floor of our car. The plant was a gift from my then husband and me to our sister-in-law as a thank you for hosting Thanksgiving.

A jade plant that has grown from a small branch that had fallen on the floor of an Episcopal Church in Washington. I had attended worship there on an early weekday morning during a long ago vacation. Later that day my traveling friend and I would receive the news that her mother-in-law had died. I almost lost the plant in the Tax Day Flood, but was able to nurse it back to health.

Two plants from an arrangement given to me by my son and daughter-in-law to thank me for caring for my newborn grandson, Jonas.

A new plant, given by a dear St. Mary’s parishioner, as a goodbye gift.

After Christmas, I’ll remove the candles and hope to keep this arrangement of plants alive until next year. It will be one of the items that will move into my not yet found new home. In the year ahead, if one or another of the plant dies, I know there will be something new that can grow in that no longer empty spot.

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