June 19th - Gardening

Monday, June 19, 2017

"Gardening is an instrument of grace."

Start Quote
When authentic longings began surging to the surface,
I was seized with the determination not to greet another spring 
without daffodils and tulips in our yard.

Since I knew absolutely nothing about gardening, 
I sought the advice of famous women gardeners:

In my mind, there are two types of lady gardeners.

There are those extraordinary women 
who not only know every flower,
but know every flower by its Latin name...

They keep meticulous gardening journals, 
plot plant placements on graph paper, 
and never break into a sweat 
when wielding a trowel and a spade...

"Grunge" accurately describes the other group.
We are always hot, smelly, and sweaty in the garden, 
boasting not so much a green thumb as dirty fingernails 
because we forgot where we put our gardening gloves. 

We speak of "that little yellow flower" and point...

Still, I think of my adventures in the garden as a 
trajectory of forward motion, an evolution of soul. 

Gardening has become an unexpected instrument of grace, 
for I've discovered hours of inner peace on my knees, 
digging in the dirt.

Here is the one place I don't think about work 
or worry about whatever it is that I can't control. 

The complete absorption, 
the sacrament of the present moment I experience 
when planting or weeding 
brings exquisite contentment. 

My mind is stilled and my heart expands. 

Now I know what the Great Creator intended for woman 
to flourish in a garden. 
End Quote 

I absolutely, utterly, one hundred percent agree.

I grew up loving my Grandmother's garden. 

The flowers, the vegetable patch, the bushes and grasses. 
The tiny kitten jumping from bush to bush, 
and the old dog lying there on the porch.

My mom always says that outer darkness encroaches on her yard, 
but for some reason I never see a weed or a thing wrong 
in my Grandma's yard...even though they both live 
in the mountains. 

Maybe I'm blinded by nostalgia, 
or rose colored glasses of romanticism...

Or maybe my Grandma is one of those gardeners. 

She always has the nice soap and nice brush in the washroom
 to get all the dirt out from under your nails. 

I also loved Monet's garden. 
I received a book about him and his garden for Christmas one year, 
and I've cherished it ever since. 

(thanks Aunt Amy)

Gardening takes a lot of time and effort, 
but the rewards are plentiful...
if you love and appreciate simple abundance. 

The only things I have growing right now are green onions in the planter under my kitchen window, mums that somehow have stayed alive even though my kids have torn them to shreds, a succulent that I'm surprised I haven't killed yet, and two rose bushes that I'm desperately trying to get to thrive. 

And a tree in the middle of synlawn. 

I do not have a green thumb. 
But oh how I want one. 

I want fruit trees, and vegetable gardens, and every bulb that I love and tons of flowering bushes like roses and peonies...

When the kids get a little older we'll remove the rock and put raised beds in the back yard, and do some vertical gardening too to make good use of our small space. 

If you don't garden, at all, I highly suggest you give it a try. 

You may be surprised how much good 
a little dirt can do for your soul.

Gratitude Journal

1) Rocking out with my cousin. Rocking out in general. My kids came up and just watch us in awe, it was pretty cool.

2) It was like 110 degrees today, which meant the laundry out on the line dried up in about an hour and a half. When I took it down from the line it was so hot! I love hanging laundry out to dry.

3) AC. I keep the house warm compared to most people. I keep the house anywhere from 81-83 degrees...anything below 80 and I want a blanket. But when it's 110 degrees outside, your ac runs almost all day, just to keep it at 81! Thank you power and all the people who work so we can have power.

4) I thought of the pioneers today, and how they traveled in this weather, covered head to toe, pushing handcarts and walking mile after mile...how did they do it? How did they all not get heat stroke and die? I'm grateful for our luxuries, and I'm grateful that they didn't just give up because it was too hot.

5) I made the kids smoothies today (bananas, peaches and blackberries with some peach yogurt and milk) and we had fun drinking them. The kids had purple mustaches...it was super cute.