|Topiaries in Bishopville, SC|
Or, more personally, "Can I make a difference in this world?"
Not long ago, I found myself in the small town of Bishopville, SC. We had dropped our son off at a Math and Science Camp and were headed out when my husband and I noticed topiaries down the median of the main street in town. Interesting, we thought. A bit unusual. But interesting.
Then, I saw a name on a sign as we drove out of the town. Pearl.
I asked my husband to turn around and go back to the side road with the sign. I couldn't believe it. We had just driven by the road where Pearl Fryar lives.
I was so excited.
|Huge Topiaries in Pearl Fryar's garden|
So imagine my delight when we found ourselves pulling up to his home to tour the gardens!
|Pearl's signature tree|
One of the comments made was that "black men don't keep up their yards."
This is where the story takes off.
Pearl, instead of growing angry or bitter by the comment, set about to create a work of art in his yard.
He says he got reject plants from the nurseries, or pulled plants out of the compost pile. His goal was to get "Yard of the Month", to show people that he could maintain his yard. He did this by creating topiaries all over his property. Eventually, he succeeded in winning the honor of "Yard of the Month" from the town.
|"Hate Hurts" artwork by Pearl Fryar|
You have to understand that Pearl had no gardening experience when he started. He had a few minute lesson with some plants he bought, but then learned as he went. What exists today is the result of years and years of hard work. And still is hard work.
He creates artwork out of "junk" and maintains his huge property, continuing to prune and trim and shape the living artwork.
Did he set out to change the world? It seems he set out to show that he could maintain his yard, to remove a stereotype. To be the "Yard of the Month". He created the entire garden with hard work and grace.
|A neighbor's yard, full of topiaries|
But look at the impact he's had.
Up and down his street, others followed suit and have created more whimsical yards. His work is why the town has topiaries down the median.
|Another neighbor's yard, full of topiaries|
What started as a goal of getting yard of the month, turned into something so much bigger. He found his passion and went with it. As his love and plants grew, more and more people were curious and attracted to come see what he had done.
His story has inspired many. Including me!
|Yet another yard on Pearl's street|
But it may not be that we set out to do it. God may open a door here and there. Nudging us in a direction.
When we're doing what God created us to do, we have a passion when we do it. And that passion speaks loudly. God can use that to bless others, to inspire others.
That's the kind of difference I want to make.
When have you been able to make a difference in other's lives? Do you see a pattern in your life of God directing you where he wants to you go, to follow your dreams and passions?
I'd love to hear from you about that!
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|Potbelly Fountain at Pearl's|
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