A Green Thumb

By Joseph J. Mazzella • November 22, 2014

As a boy I learned so much growing up the way I did. We didn't have very much, yet we were rich in all that mattered. My Mom, Dad, brothers, and I all lived with my Grandma in her ramshackle house built from old shanty cars. It was cold and drafty at times but we could always count on a hot meal made with love to warm our bellies and our hearts. "Nana" had an old root cellar, four different vegetable gardens and a green thumb when it came to growing things. We could always count then on a delicious dinner every day.

Nana wasn't content with just growing food, though. She wanted something beautiful for the soul as well. She had flowers growing all around the house and potted pants hanging on the back porch. She always knew how to nurture each plant too. She would give each one the perfect amount of water and turn it regularly so it wouldn't grow crooked as it stretched toward the sunshine. I can even remember her once chasing a stray cat away with some harsh Italian words for daring to use one of her precious plants as a litter box.

Sadly, I didn't inherit Nana's green thumb for growing things. I have grown vegetables even rabbits wouldn't steal and I have found that my flowers do far better when I just leave them alone. I did, however, learn one thing from Nana: how to nurture the soul.

I do so each day helping it to grow. I give thanks to God for the food in my stomach and the flowers in the field. I spend time in prayer. I cherish the beauty of this glorious world. I read works that uplift and inspire. I pet my dogs. I laugh often. I hug my sons and daughter. I share smiles with strangers and my stories with everyone I can. I help others. And I plant seeds of love, joy, kindness, and encouragement everywhere I go. May you do the same. May your green thumb nurture your soul and this world with love always.

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