A glimpse of what will surely be…

We could all use a little glimpse of something brighter and more colorful today.

As many of you know, I love my garden. I actually think that love might be an inadequate word in this case. It’s like the garden is an extension of me.

I have only been digging in the dirt for four years, so this is a fairly recent but consuming passion. At first I approached it so tentatively, concerned about perfection and failure. Now, I do it with abandon.

Every year, I try to find ways to pack more and more flowers and plants in. I’m taking over the yard (sorry to my boys, but with all of the shade we have, it’s not like our grass is a worthy endeavor), so much so that my dad affectionately calls it my forest.

Seed catalogs have started arriving at my house. Soon I will put one of my old light therapy boxes to work starting seeds in the basement. It’s such a hopeful gesture to start baby plants in this snow-covered landscape. I now understand that if I lived somewhere without these dramatic weather shifts, I would have fewer reminders of what I can and cannot control. The seasons and the rhythms of the earth provide an amazing setting for miracles to occur. In my garden I find daily, tangible reminders that God is sustaining the earth and can make all things new.

I discovered Vigen Guroian (an Armenian theologian/ professor and gardener) and I am really enjoying his book, Inheriting Paradise: Meditations on Gardening. Here’s a little taste:

When the earth is still damp and cold with melted snow, I kneel at the edge of the perennial bed beseeching the first green blades of the crocuses and daffodils to grow. I drift into my vegetable garden and rake off last year’s withered vines. I look down at the dead gray shoots of the asparagus row and try to imagine how in a month’s time splendid green spears will break through the mounded earth.

For the gardener the first signs of spring are an irresistible invitation to make the earth a Paradise once more. Gardening and the spiritual life are very much alike.

Here, let’s have a glimpse together of what will surely be…in just a few months. Hang in there, friends.


8 Responses to A glimpse of what will surely be…

  1. Kerry Timander January 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    I would love to strip my garden and start fresh… Last year the dog stomped all over it and the year before the painters did. It’s a mess. With a little guidance from a master gardener it could be beautiful I’m sure.

    Any chance you guys are going to make an appearance at Rock the Cradle tomorrow… lots of good music. Koo Koo Kangaroo, Chris Koza, Jeremy Messersmith, Adam Levy and Haley Bonar. Me and kids will be there sometime between 12 and 4pm.

    KT

  2. Bev January 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    So very pretty…makes me happy!

  3. Amy Haley January 23, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    Our daffodils are starting to push up already! We are only a month from these first arrivals. There is nothing like the feeling of walking around my yard inspecting how things look in the spring. I have the annual tradition of parading from tree to tree and bed to bed, reflecting on whether anything looks different or better than the year before. I think about what I will keep and what I can improve. When I think about the reasons that I am glad we chose to stay in our house, I remember this ritual and think about how hard it would be to hand my trees over to someone else and not be the one to see them grow up and reach their arms to meet the friends across the street.

  4. inputgirl January 23, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Kerry: We won’t be able to make it tomorrow…church, grocery shopping, prep for Jeremy’s brothers to arrive this week, and the Vikings game make our day too packed. I would love to be the person who helps you strip your garden and starts again. So much fun!!!

    Amy: I totally relate. I was going to put this in the post and decided it was too long…

    “This will likely sound weird to you if you are not a gardener, but each and every plant is known to me. Just like a mother sees the little physical changes and senses the moods of her children, I notice everything about my plants – which ones survived the winter, which ones did not, which of the two thistles I planted at the same time is taller than the other, which one seems to need some more space. There are many ways to nurture in this world, and tending this garden is one of mine.”

    Bev: Thanks for visiting!

  5. inputgirl January 23, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    p.s. I have the daily (morning), coffee in hand ritual of going to examine every single one of my flower beds to see what has changed in the night! Imagine my amazement when I have been away for a few days…

  6. Tony Hedrick January 24, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    I said, “Jungle” not “Forest.” Your yard is a “Jungle.” A nice “Jungle” but a “Jungle” none the less.

  7. Noemi Hedrick January 24, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Rachel, you are such a great writer. I guess it’s in your blood. I could read your stuff all day. I can’t wait to see what you do with your garden this year!

  8. Grandma Jeanne January 24, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Not to be super spiritual or anything, but I love to greet my trees and shrubs every spring and lay hands on them and pray a brief prayer to the Lord … I thank Him that they made it safely through the winter and I ask for His blessing to rest upon them in the coming season. It’s a sweet reminder of His tender care for every living thing!
    Love your blog, Rach. May your garden flourish in 2010!
    Love you,
    Mom

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