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WHY GARDEN. . .?

I ask only because  after deadheading flowers, lifting pots, pulling weeds, and resetting garden path stones, my bones hurt, my muscles ache, ants have crept inside my pant leg and there’s a patch of poison ivy on my arm driving me crazy.

I ask because it’s hard to garden when the weather goes  from hot to rainy to ninety degrees with humidity above eighty and more rain predicted (as though we haven’t had enough).

Yeah —  why DO we garden?

Because.

Because not gardening isn’t an option. Because something pulls us to the dirt and to creating beauty.

Some call gardening “art.” I call it necessary to the human condition, food for the soul, salve for anxiety, ice cream with no calories.

It’s been a crazy summer, though. The plants don’t know quite what to do about the weather. The sedum thrives but I’ve noticed some rotting deep inside where the sun (when it shines) doesn’t reach. Same for the cone flowers and the calibrochia.

The black-eyed Susan plants do well, though, and would probably grow in cement. I can’t complain about the lantana, either.

The new hydrangea trees my good friend Joe and I planted in the spring adapted quickly and have produced magnificent blooms, and the impatiens could not be more beautiful.

Having said that, the tomatoes are rotting before they ripen.

The eggplant is just now showing  signs of edible produce and forget picking a crop of bell peppers.

But the basil is beautiful and the small patch of thyme the birds planted for me looks ready to use.

So . . . why DO we garden?

Pleasure. Sheer, absolute, I don’t care if the bugs bite, I know I can’t kill all the Poison Ivy,  the ratio of rain/ sun sucks, I hurt all over, Pleasure.

I feel that as I sit on the porch swing every morning it doesn’t rain.

Sipping my coffee, I watch butterflies flit, hummingbirds zoom, and bees burrow deep into morning glories and daylilies.

As early sun highlights the crepe myrtle, and the golden finches come to feed, I feel happy and grateful that I am a gardener, and I think that Robert Browning had it exactly right when he wrote the words, “God’s in His heaven, all’s right with the world.”

 

 

 

Yes. Some Things Do Matter More.

Wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, and considerate, full of mercy and good fruits –Jas 3:17

When bad things happen, we’re never prepared. Maybe that’s because God, in His wisdom, wants to keep us from dwelling on a future we cannot change. We live with the fact that tomorrow is a question mark, even while we hope it will be pleasant and productive and good. So when bad things do happen, we can only ask for the words and actions that will comfort and soothe those they happen to.

I pray for that wisdom now as I pray for the family and the soul of a young man who died just yesterday. It was a senseless death and one he would not have wished on all who loved him so much.

It is right that we love our children beyond full. That we love them so much we don’t even think about it. That it’s just there, day in, days on end, forever. We love them and hold them tight inside us even when we don’t physically touch them.

So when sudden, unexplainable death stops the breathing, douses the spark – the light of inner being – there is no way forward. There is now. There is this. And there is realization that the laugh, the teasing, the tolerated hug, the birthdays with candles and cake and the years ahead when his never to be born babies call you Nanna or Gramma, or Grandy, will never be. There is no answer to the question that keeps repeating itself: Why?Why?Why?

I pray for all who share the grieving and am grateful that there is solace in prayer, though it can be sharp at first, filled with recrimination and anger.

Anger because we couldn’t prevent it. Anger that this child, our beloved child, did not understand the danger of drugs. Anger that God allowed it to happen.

But acceptance does come. And with it comes a plea for help, for wisdom.

I pray especially for the family – this special family who has been so much a part of my own. For you, I pray that this gift of the Holy Spirit folds itself around you, layer upon layer, so that you feel the prayers of all who grieve with you. I pray that all our prayers wrap you in a cloud of comfort.