I’ve been on an extended vacation from blogging. After all, it is summer. My kids and I have been done school since the end of May, and I’ve taken full advantage of it. I haven’t been gone (at least not for too long at a time). I haven’t been sick. I haven’t been pursuing worthy academic endeavours. My reason is an addiction to gardening.
Our home has suffered because of it, although I am coming to believe that a sanitized, neat-as-a-pin house is severely over-rated. I regularly struggle with acedia and often have difficulty finding purpose or blessing in the tasks and relationships that make up every day. When I spend time outside in my garden, my spirit becomes rooted in Reality. I’m not talking about the reality that I decide for myself – my perspectives and biases, my default way of viewing life. I’m talking about the understanding that I am only a part of this world: outside I am surrounded by the garden that God causes to grow. However, I am an important part of God’s creation because without me, my garden would die. There would be no luscious tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, sweet red beets here. There would be no flowers in our back yard. The flower bed that is the bright spot one sees when one turns the corner onto our street wouldn’t be there. Our grass would be brown instead of green. Right now it is mostly dandelions and other pernicious weeds, but even my neighbours would have to agree that our yard is green.
There is a thrill in planting, growing, and harvesting a garden because I did it. While I am planting seeds I imagine the salads I will enjoy and the other delicious meals I will make with what my garden produces in the summer. I enjoy watering and weeding and finding those first seedlings in the spring. I particularly enjoy canning and preserving the produce of the garden that I made. Mostly, however, I appreciate what gardening does for my mental and spiritual health. I saw a sign once that read, “God loves a garden”. So do I. I think I’m more loveable when I’m in a garden, not because God loves me more there, but because there I can love God better.
Simply put, my garden is my Eden.