Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lessons From The Garden

Right now I'm trying to hang onto the positive and lasting things that I've learned or discovered in the last year.  I'm writing, here, these precious lessons so that I can remember them and maybe someone out there, someone I don't even know, will learn from them too...

I've discovered that gardening is one of God's greatest forms of therapy... the calm that comes while planting the first seeds, the patience it takes to wait for them to grow, the inner pride you feel when the plant is strong enough to go from house to garden, true elation when it bears fruit. 

Time is required, time is essential, it does not all happen in one day, it takes months of careful love and tending; patience and nurturing is required for all things to grow strong.

A garden is not perfect, there are weeds that must be pulled, soil that must be fertilized, pruning that is essential for proper growth.  I am reminded that we are not perfect that relationships are not perfect; every good thing requires work.

I learned how good it feels to do the work, how warm the soil is at the end of an early summer day, how the dead leaves will simply come off of the stem when they should if you are patient and let them wither, how the death of these leaves is essential to the health of the plant. 

I relished in pulling the weeds that grew where they were not wanted; creating space for the plants to grow and breathe.  Sometimes the weeds came out of the soil with ease and other times their roots were so deep that it took digging to remove them, sometimes these tough ones were the smallest.  I think of my heart and how there are weeds growing there, how some come away easily while others will leave a mark when dug out but I will be healthier when they are gone, I will have space to grow.

My sorrow is that I won't see the garden I helped tend wither and sleep in the fall.  There are lessons in that as well and I am sure that I will learn them in time.  I think the ones I have learned are ones I needed to know right now, for this time in my life.

I've started growing things of my own in my little tree house apartment.  I'm enjoying watching them grow and tending them with care, they are protected here, it's not the same as a garden exposed to the elements but I think sometimes a little protection is necessary too.

I hope you're all having a beautiful summer.