Every summer I try my hand at gardening. Some years it’s four tomato plants in the side yard that result only in enough to feed us dinner, and other years it’s a full blown plot of land filled with herbs, peppers, tomatoes, lettuces and squashes. This year we are going big, we rented a garden spot a mile away and now I have a good excuse to walk the dogs each day, to monitor the progress and water and fiddle around, and go back home with satisfied pets. I never know what will result of my time and effort, I don’t make big plans and I am rarely disappointed. Give me a handful of produce that came from my own work and I am quite pleased.
You see, for me it’s all about the growing. I love having my hands in dirt, and feel closest to God when I am planting seeds and plants. As I drop each seed into the little square at the beginning of the season, I am ridiculously optimistic, believing that something big and wonderful will grow from there, and I wonder if God doesn’t feel the same way about each of us? When I place the plants into the tilled land I am reminded of the importance of cultivating our environment, keeping it diverse and fresh. When I show up each day to water I am reminded that good things take time to grow and require patience, and when the water is provided by God so much more growth occurs than when it’s been provided by me. Every single time. When I am pulling away the parts that are starting to decline, in order to make room for new growth, I am reminded of the importance for us to do the same in our lives even if it looks like there is still some good stuff left. And at the end of the season as I am closing up the garden, this magical place where food has developed from the ground, I am reminded that we all have seasons of growth and rest, and that’s what allows us to continue each year.
If you have the time and inclination, I would be happy to walk you around my little garden, it may not look like much to most people, but to me it’s a pretty special place.