Gardens of Joy

Fewer sights may be more valuable at this time than a newly planted flower garden.

As spring takes a hold, many around town are putting on their gardening gloves and going to work on their outdoor features. This includes Don Sisson, resident and member of First Baptist Church in Bingen. Last week, Sisson was busy shaping up the church’s front yard, mowing the yard and planting flowers in the flower bed just below the lettering on the side of the building.

“Good weather hit, so I thought I better get to work,” Sisson said.

Sisson has been a member of First Baptist Church’s congregation for about six years now, right around the time Pastor Patrick Tapia first began preaching there.

Since then, Sisson has been the congregation’s point person on landscaping duties, volunteering his time to maintain the Church’s bright presence on S.R. 14.

Sisson said he carried his skills over from his years working in landscaping in the Spokane area. The flower garden, he said, was another member’s undertaking until last year. Now, Sisson takes the time to care for the plants, fertilizing them and managing other landscaping duties.

He observed his work, a variety of flowers in hues of yellow and red.

“God, man, he created flowers for everybody,” Sission said.

While a statewide shutdown has impacted much of the daily goings on around town, including religious gatherings, Tapia said the garden serves as a reminder that there is joy in the world at a time where people need it most. It’s a time for rejoicing, Tapia said, noting that the holiday of Easter was arriving.

Tapia said the flower garden has been a focal point of the church, which sits on what is normally a busy state highway. While travel has diminished substantially since non-essential activity came to a halt nearly a month ago, Tapia said he still finds people take joy in viewing the creation.

He noted the church allows the occasional traveler to park their car overnight in the parking lot, a safe spot to rest after a long commute. Travelers far and near would come attend church normally, Tapia said. Although religious gatherings are not allowed under social distancing guidelines, Tapia said, the presence of the church helps to share joy to passersby.

“It brings happiness,” Tapia said. “Whoever sees it, it brings joy.”

We may be under a stay-at-home order, but Sisson shows you can keep a safe distance from people while enjoying time outside. So once you emerge from quarantine to enjoy sunshine a safe distance from others, considering taking a look at the First Baptist Church flower garden.

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