The Mandevilla Bridge

 

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My eyes relished the dark greens and passionate pinks of the Mandevilla on the sun drenched front patio, as I placed the Spanish moss on the harsh points of the giant branch serving as a trellis and focal point in the center of the nearby lacy, iron Bistro table and chairs. The sunshine was becoming brilliant on the concrete as noon approached.  The feelers of the plant had reached like long, straight tendrils, from the large container to one chair’s back, then up the large branch.

I had removed them from the chair filigree, so the chair wouldn’t become overgrown, but could be a repose to drink in the beauty of the Mandevilla and the few flowering trees at our entrance to our home.  The beautiful plant aspired once again to reach the chair, but this time traveled past directly onto the branch/trellis, and graced the Bistro set, transforming a functional seating piece into a spiritual experience.

The chair had been a bridge.  For a time, it supported the young Mandevilla plant, and supported it as it spanned the reality of home, then outwards, to engage and to take hold in the world around it.

The chair was similar to me.  It was similar to the Mothers who have directed their children’s reaching tendrils, and equipped them to be able to take hold of good supports. In this era of dangerous and false supports, some mothers have actually become bridges, educating their children, themselves.  The sacrifice of giving up decades of career and of income to disciple their children in a well loved curriculum and vision, spoke of a journey of immersing selves in a family garden.    When the chair was covered by Mandevilla, it luxuriated with green and yellow-green life that flourished, grew, and played a verdant symphony. Not overtaken, but interwoven with the life and destiny of the young vines.

The Mothers who have educated at Home, could have allowed their little ones to find the table by themselves, reaching out onto a longer, farther road, less sure of their success to alight and take hold.  At this point in history, where public education has grown, and loomed into a massive secular edifice of bureaucracy. the God cornerstone has been left out, and the building is tilting treacherously.  Secular, rings like seco, dry in Spanish, and how parched is education without the Master Educator and Creator.  But, raising young vines in a well watered, though imperfect soil, has nourished the deepest heart of these young, praising, and healthy ones.  They are free to choose their own path, but the Mothers who have been a bridge for a time, are unique in this moment in history.   Will homeschooling continue? Will it continue to flourish as it has, 2 Million students strong? It may or may not, but the women, and some men, who interwove with their children, and carried them into the their emerging adult world, helping them to connect, have carried their young, beautiful vines, and perhaps also civilization, at a time in history when the education edifice conspired to mass produce plants with no heart and no God. Mothers and Fathers have been a bridge of historic and God-anointed proportions. Michael Farris, founder of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, paid homage, saying, “This generation of homeschoolers will rise up and call their mothers blessed, because they could’ve sent them to government school.”

by Ana Maria Blevins

 

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