Let's start again...
There was once a mum in lockdown who ordered garden seed - quite a few packets - for online delivery. She waited very (almost) patiently until eventually, the first packet of seed arrived.
Doing her best to fit planting between the COVID updates, she hurried outside to sow the seed.
But she was too distracted by the news, and as she fumbled to check her phone, she dropped the seed along the path. That night, the possums and rats explored her new garden and snatched the seed away.
The next day another packet of seed arrived.
This time, she tried to stay focused. She returned to the garden to plant the seed, but her mind was busy with COVID statistics, vaccination percentages and arguments for and against different types of freedom. The seed she held fell among the rocks. Without soil to sink it's roots into, the tender seedlings sprouted fast and wilted just as quickly.
Luckily, several days later, another packet of seed arrived.
This time the mum in lockdown pulled on her gardening socks and secured her hat. She gripped the seeds tightly and wandered into the garden. But as she looked around for the best place to plant, her mind was filled with a never-ending list of worries: from health to financial impact, career opportunities and mental health, forgotten friendships, strained relationships, loss of confidence, fear, stress, melancholy, depression... She froze. Her grip on the seed forgotten, they dropped to the earth where she stood. Locked down by her concerns and grief, the prickles and weeds began to grow around the seeds. The weeds blocked the sunlight. The prickles choked the growth. The seeds finally gave up trying and died.
The weeks passed. She no longer counted how long it had been. The seed packets continued to arrive. Ignored. Unnoticed. Unopened.
Until one raining day, when cabin fever shook the lockdown home, the lockdown weary mum selected a single packet at random. She headed outside. She trudged to the garden bed. With rain dripping down her forehead and off the end of her nose, she dug into the soft waiting dirt. She placed the seeds down, one after the other, in repentance and sorrow and bone weary hope. Then she sat back on her heels and closed her eyes to the sky.
The rain fell - as it does, on those who do evil and those who do good. It soaked the earth. It washed her face. It drew her to her feet and carried her inside to dry off.
COVID continued. Lockdowns carried on. But outside, up in that garden, there now grew a field of flowers. Tall, glorious, fantastic and blossoming bright.
Hope with it's roots down deep despite it all.
Based on Jesus' Parable of the Sower in the Bible, Matthew 13: 18 - 23.