Not yet three, Lucy has raised some incredibly thoughtful and amazing questions as of late. Most recently, on our walks, “Mommy – who made the flowers?”
I’ve always been fairly open regarding my ambivalence about religion and spirituality. When Justin and I first began dating, we had lengthy talks about what it means to have faith. When we got engaged, we spent summer evenings in the home of George Brown, the priest who would later marry us, discussing religion. When I became pregnant with Lucy, we talked about what it meant to believe in God. With time, I’ve come to a comfortable place with God and I couldn’t sum it up any better than this:
“I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.”
~Frank Lloyd Wright
So when Lucy asks questions like “who made the flowers,” Justin shares his beliefs and I share mine. And we don’t share differing ideas to confuse or compete. We share differing ideas because we feel it is important for Lucy to know that it’s okay to have differing ideas – that everyone doesn’t have to believe in the same thing and that we can still love each other fiercely. And because ultimately, she will believe in what is most comfortable for her, just as I did.
“Mother Nature made the flowers,” I tell her. And then I decided to show her.
Last Tuesday, I took Lucy to one of two viveros (nurseries) in town. Located at the entrance to Zen Yoga, a small, but lush nursery grows. Most of the plants are driven in from Catarina, a town north of San Juan del Sur, known for its abundant gardens. Because they didn’t have seeds for sale, we opted to purchase a few small plants to pot back at home.
Not surprising, amidst the green, Lucy set her sights on a pinkish/purple flower and I chose a basil plant (great for cooking AND keeping the flies away). Once home, we laid out all the necessary tools for potting our plants (including a homemade shell-decorated pot from a previous Lucy Tuesday).
As we scooped earth and patted soil, Lucy talked – sometimes to me and sometimes to the plants.
“Okay, little plant, I’ll put you next to your mama plant.”
“Mommy – how do I say basil in Spanish?”
“Albahaca,” I told her.
“Oh right, alahabaga.”
“Okay, alahabaga – are you thirsty? Here’s some water for you.”
“Mommy, why do they need water?”
“Well, they need water and sun to grow, just like we do.”
“Sun makes us grow?” she asked thoughtfully.
“It does,” I said. “It gives us energy we need to grow and it makes us happy.”
“Okay, Mommy. Let’s be sure they gets lots of sun. Then they can have lots of energy and be happy…like me.”
And so began our very first conversation about photosynthesis, the beauty and power of nature, survival, and Mother Earth.