On Gardening

If you would, stroll across the lawn with me. I have something I’d like to show you. It’s just around this corner here.

I’d like to give you a tour of my soul.

What’s that you say? “It’s just a garden”? Of course it looks like a garden! What else would you expect a soul to look like? But it’s not “just” anything. It’s one of the most precious things on earth.

I’m not out to compare gardens or even to show off what I’ve done with mine. My garden isn’t all that special, I just mean that every garden is sacred. You gaze upon hallowed ground. For this earth was set apart for a purpose by the Almighty. All dirt matters, but this dirt was especially prepared to bring forth fruit.

Of course, that’s not what you thought when you first saw it. You couldn’t help but notice the weeds. Yes, there are a lot. Weeding has been on my to-do list for a while. Every once in a while I make my way out here with my gloves and a bucket, and if I think of it, a trowel. But the work is tiresome, and perfect weeding weather always seems far too nice to waste bent over soil.

Besides there’s more than just dirt in this ground. It’s well-fertilized. It never ceases to amaze me how putrid animal filth can produce such luscious fruit. The stench when it’s fresh will steal your breath away. But any gardener will tell you it’s a necessary evil, a fact of life.

As if weeding and fertilizing weren’t trouble enough, every season is unpredictable. I only have so much control; I can’t cause the sun to shine or the rain to fall, or even stave off frost. Every season I have to trust again.

But even without the weeds and the dung and assuming the weather holds out, my work is never finished. Each season I sew my field anew with different crops in their proper time and proportion. I’ve been entrusted with various seeds—some for strawberries, others for corn, still others pumpkins or sugar snap peas. They are not all equally valuable, and the markets often boom and bust without warning. I need to choose what to invest my efforts in so that the most valuable fruit is available at the right time.

Of course I could go on and on about pest and pesticides, mice in the storeroom, and my neighbor across the way who sometimes lends me tools. But what am I saying? Your garden is no different. Where are my manners? Tell me, dear friend: how is your garden faring this season?

3 thoughts on “On Gardening”

  1. Thanks Josh, I love to garden. And this year for the first time ever, I am managing the weed thing in a garden spot which was only tilled for the first time this year, which is usually a nightmare for weeds. And the secret? Daily work. What has surprised me, though, is that my commitment to daily tackle the weed problem has turned into a rather short routine each morning. In 15 minutes tops, I am finished each day with the weeding.

    Ah, but some back story: My dear neighbor came over with his tractor and tilled up a 60×30 plot. Then he said he would let it sit, let the grass he tilled die and then come till it again in a week. He did. I think that helped: neighbors are so helpful that way. But the exposure of all those roots to the sun had to have been beneficial to their death, right?

    But as I go down the rows each morning, there are only a few weeds, here and there that need hoeing (in between the rows, where a good chop won’t cause any damage) and gently pulling (around the plants that are doing their best to survive the rabbits). And things are looking quite nice.

    But vacation is coming. We are about to be gone for two weeks. And I dread coming back and seeing how the weeds have taken over in my absence.

    I suppose there are some theological analogies that could be made from the above.

    Hope the thesis is going well.

    Michael

    1. I admire your commitment to daily weeding… I’ve always fought routines, no matter how helpful. I hope you’ve been able to keep them under control while away. =)

      Thesis finally finished last week. Feels good to have that behind me. Did you opt for the thesis?

      1. Things actually weren’t too bad, weed-wise while gone, but the deer did a number on the okra!

        I did not do the thesis, but RS102 instead. I was seriously contemplating the thesis until I missed the deadline and the decision was made for me. :-0 But I am happy with how it all turned out.

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