Brighten the corner where you are

In the few garden notes that I manage to keep, it is understood that the “corner garden” refers to a small patch of ground bordered on three sides, and having three corners.

It started out as the pointy space where the driveway meets the sidewalk going up to the front steps, and eventually was extended to include the whole triangle bordered by the sidewalk, driveway, and the west wall of the house. In it is buried our first pet, Muffin the cat, beneath the aging crape myrtle tree.

This was the first flower garden that we planted after we moved in, and special attention was paid to that very first pointy place by the driveway/sidewalk junction. Right now, some “Claudia” tulips are about to bloom, intended to delight the eye of anyone getting out of their car and walking either toward the back of the house or up the front walk.

These tulips were not from the bulbs planted in 2015. Now that Muffin is gone, the voles are left free reign to feast on tulip bulbs. No, new bulbs had to be purchased once they went on clearance in November, and re-planted. Long gone are the pretty striped crocuses, too. If we get a bargain on them, who knows? We may grow crocuses for another season.

It seems important to brighten up this corner garden with year-round interest. There are even two benches by the house and sidewalk corner to sit and enjoy the show. While it is too far away from the far corner to see the tulips, a few late daffodils bob their heads to cheer things up a bit, and pink hyacinths lend their perfume for the pleasure of those that pause there.

Similarly, we can make life more pleasant in the corners we dwell.

In the song, “Brighten The Corner Where You Are,” we are admonished to do what we can for good – right where we are. We may have plans to do something great, but if all we can do is brighten up a small spot and add cheerfulness and love, that is often enough.

“Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

“Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor “you” may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

“Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
Brighten the corner where you are.”
(Song lyrics by Ina D. Ogden)

Consider how Dorcas was remembered for the things she did. It wasn’t a monumental achievement, it was one garment at a time, done with love one tiny stitch at a time. When Peter arrived shortly after her death, it became evident that her acts of kindness were treasured greatly.

“All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them” (Acts 9:39Acts 9:39
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.  

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Is God telling us that the most important activity in which to be engaged is sewing? Certainly not; but it is a wonderful example of brightening a tiny corner by one woman willing to use her talent.

May God give us all wisdom in finding a way to brighten one corner at a time, and become a blessing to others.

Christine (Tina) Berglund

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