It’s that time of year, when you visit a friend and walk away with an armload of veggies, or find a basket of garden goodies up for grab at work. Or at least, if you visit me, you’ll come away with an odd variety of veggies. That’s the benefit of being friends with a gardener-you get some of the extra harvest.
This whole gardening thing? It’s still a new passion.
Don’t get me wrong-I grew up near gardens. We usually had one growing up, and one of my earliest memories is of running through the taller-than-me corn in my grandparents’ garden. But I never really “got it”. I never really cared.
It took moving to Africa and landing in a village that wanted a garden for me to find a passion. One that had been hiding deep in my heart, and now brings me great joy and peace.
Even days like today, when my arms are covered in zucchini-harvesting-scratches, when my pants and shows are covered in dust and grass, and when the dirt under my nails never really washes off…it’s something I love.
Because despite the scratches, I have
far too many zucchini, fresh from the garden to make into a number of delicious dishes. I have bags of fresh cut herbs in my fridge. My grocery budget has dwindled in recent weeks, as the harvest begins.
Beyond that material gain of gardening, I find pleasure. It’s something natural, a part of being a human, to plant and tend a garden. It’s going back to our roots, figuratively and literally. Gardening is at the heart of simplified living, and has given me a new appreciation for where my food comes from.
And it just brings me back to this fact: It all started in the garden.
God could have chosen any number of ways to begin life on this earth. But He chose to create a garden, and then created humans to live there. He created a place to live, one which nourished the first life here on earth, and was undoubtedly stunning.
And thousands of years later, I find this place where I just belong. Where the hum of nature surrounds me, enveloping me in a different story. Bees buzzing around, collecting nectar and pollinating plants which will eventually nourish me. Birds cheep overhead, flying and twirling in the wind. Ants march onward, hidden in the grass. Life continues here, in the garden.
Summer, despite all its heat and humidity, is an incredible time. From the soil bursts forth seedlings, which take energy from the sun and earth and climb higher and higher. As the days lengthen, life emerges from the previously barren ground. It’s like a miracle playing out in front of my eyes.
God could have chosen to nourish us in a number of ways, but He chose this miracle of growth. He could have given us barren land to live upon, but He gave us all the beauty of nature.. He could have done everything differently. But He chose for life to begin in a garden, surrounded by the wild beauty of nature.
I’m joining up with Holly for Testimony Tuesday. Check out the fun at her place!