The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. -Alfred Austin
To me, few things smell better and feel better that a freshly tilled garden. To breath in that clean, warm smell. To kick off my shoes and let my feet sink in to that fine, silky powder. To me…it’s a little slice of heaven.
Today was garden cleanup day at our house. This involved picking all the tomatoes, ripe or green, and throwing the yucky ones on the compost pile. Then Jim and I pulled the plants, cages and stakes. Once everything was out of the way, Jim tilled.
As much as I love to see our garden bursting with produce, there is something so simplistic and beautiful about freshly tilled rows of dirt. It’s so neat and orderly. It’s so full of possibility. What will we plant next year? How much of each plant? What new things will we try? After we finished putting up cages and stakes, we stood, looking at the garden, and discussed that very thing.
You see, in gardening, at least to us, a great amount of the joy comes in the planning…the anticipation. The hope of what’s to come next.
This summer, I put things on hold. I put off flying to Colorado to see Derek, Lesley, David and Jackson. I put off smaller trips as well, so that I wouldn’t have to reschedule or work around tests and appointments with specialists. I got caught in this trap that I often find myself in…trying to make things happen in my time, on my schedule. It doesn’t work too well…but I find myself getting sucked into the same pattern over and over.
By doing so, I robbed myself of a lot of wonderful things. The simple joy of being in my garden, playing in the dirt, doing the things I love best. I did those things…but a lot of the joy was missing.
As I write this, a song by Elton John popped into my head. The song begins:
Don’t wish it away…don’t look at it like its forever.
That’s what I was doing: focusing on my pain, wishing away weeks and months to get to a place that, guess what, I’m still not at.
I even did the same thing, waiting to hear if Jim had been accepted into the Diaconate program. We knew we’d hear by August fifteenth…and I couldn’t wait to get to that date to find out. Hurry…let’s go!
It’s funny…when I started writing this blog a few minutes ago, I had no idea where it was going. But God has been working on me the past few days. Every thought, scripture, even Father Robert’s sermon, was God calling to me to slow down, to enjoy today, to not waste another minute.
And so…today was a good day. I didn’t think about tomorrow. I didn’t wish for next week. I spend the day with Jim…in the place we love the most. And as Jim would say, “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!”
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. -Matthew 6:34