“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul”-Alfred Austin (English Poet 1835-1913)
There is an old saying that people can be born with a “green” thumb meaning they can, and do, have success at growing plants. Let’s just lay it all on the line here and admit that I was not born with that appendage. Well I do have a thumb but it most definitely is not green. I have written before about my “loving” family kidding me about the fact that I bring plants home to die. Sweetheart even made little gravestones once for a particularly large plant I sent to the plant side of heaven. I know. Sad right?
That being said I never have been one to admit defeat. Each year I faithfully spend the family grocery budget buying and planting all manner of seeds, seedlings, and trees with the hopes of creating my own little garden of Eden here on earth. I dig, I fertilize, I water with a diligent fervor usually reserved for more important things like eating chocolate or reading a new novel. I love the feel of the dirt in my hands, forgoing gloves to push each seed, each plant deep into the warm, fragrant soil.
This year has been no different. Each day sweetheart kindly reserved his eye rolling to those moments when I wasn’t looking. (or so he thought). Bags of dirt, flats of plants, and a fresh pair of pink gardening gloves joined the emptied pots of last year along the concrete edge of the deck. As I sat contemplating where to start I thought of Genesis 1:11-12 where God looked out at the land and then said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” I pondered the fact that God has allowed me to feel that same sense of creating beauty where there was once just the plainness of brown dirt.
So we shall see how this season goes. Already I have had one crisis. A late spring hail storm wiped out my lettuce and radishes. I mean really. I listened carefully to see if I could hear Him laughing from Heaven. With me. Not at me. Because I could only laugh at the crushed little emerald leaves mixed with dirt that had only the day before held the promise of a salad by the weekend. I was tempted to make a little gravestone but instead I raked it all under and planted more seeds. Because that’s what you do when your garden fails.
You plant again.
What are you replanting this year? Can I pray with you for God’s covering on your endeavors?
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
photography by Michelle Welch, all rights reserved
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