IN PURSUIT OF GLORY

I’m not sure when I first discovered Morning Glories. If pressed toRecall, I believe it was in a silk flower store. I’d never seen naturalMorning Glories, but I instantly fell in love with the traditional variety– radiant blue with butter yellow centers.This year, my love was tested. You see, I’m a self-professed vineFanatic. As a child, I drew meandering vines in my notebook when I wasSupposed to be learning geometry. I decorated countless homemade cardsWith flowing vines and wondered about a career as a vine artist. (TurnsOut, there’s not much call for that.)As a novice gardener, I’ve planted moon vines, cardinal red vines andClematis of varying colors. I’ve even allowed a beautiful “weed vine” toWind around the posts of my back porch, just because it looks so graceful.Now its trunk is two-inches in diameter.Last year, I planted my first Morning Glory. It also happened to beThe same year I discovered the beauty of ordering plants over the Internet.While flicking through the pages of one gardening site, I saw MorningGlories and was smitten once again. I clicked, paid and waited. A fewDays later, my precious six-inch seedling arrived unharmed. For the restOf that summer, part of my fence disappeared each morning under dozens ofBrilliant blue Morning Glories.This year I had bigger dreams. I wanted to cover my entire fence withThese gracious vines, but no! The garden site was gone! Three nurseriesIn our area had no seedlings! It was up to me and two packets of seeds.In early April, I made my hands raw nicking over thirty rock hard,Morning Glory seeds. I carefully soaked them for the prescribed amount ofTime, and tucked them into starter pots. Every day my daughter and IChecked under the plastic domes for sprouts. We couldn’t wait for theFirst green head to poke through. So we waited, and waited some more.Finally, two seedlings arrived.Two.My daughter lost interest.I put the seedlings on the window sill and kept them safe until theDanger of a rogue northeast frost had passed. When they seemed strongEnough, I picked a safe spot along the fence (sunny but not one of theDog’s’ favorite spots), mulched, watered and waited.Then I waited some more.One seedling died.The final seedling seemed dazed. Although it didn’t grow, it didn’tWhither either. The next six weeks were some of the hottest and driest onRecord. The seedling held its ground with the help of persistent wateringAnd whispered encouragement, but it stayed the same size as the day IPlanted it.In August, the seedling woke up and remembered it wasn’t meant to be a3-inch plant — it was a vine! Slowly, it made its way up the chain linkFence. There were no flowers, but I was content watching it grow about anInch a day.One morning, over four months after I began this odyssey, I walkedInto the kitchen. My heart sank at the site of a mountain of dirty dishes.I stood absentmindedly in front of the sink, staring out the window,Trying to decide what to tackle first. I was so taken by what I saw that IAudibly sucked in my breath and uttered a soft, “Ohhh!”At the top of the fence was a crown of three luminescent blue MorningGlories. I left the dishes, walked into my backyard and stood next to theVine, grinning from ear to ear.What a triumph! This vine had beaten thirty to one odds by feelingIts way up the fence an inch at a time. Once it woke from its daze, itKept reaching out, believing there’d be a place to take hold. And, as ifTo trumpet its arrival at the summit, the vine splurged with a grandOpening display of three flowers.Silly with pride, I knew this plant had taught me a lesson in gracefulPersistence and relentless faith. Four months, thirty seeds, two seedlingsAnd one resilient vine later, it was well worth it!Believe. Grow. Reach. Trust. Never doubt the pursuit of Glory.– Teri Goggin

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