Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gardening Cultivates Faith

I was speaking to my friend, Lisa, on the telephone this past Sunday. “What are you doing today?” she asked.

It had just rained the night before so I was excited to get out and do some weeding, and I told her that. “How about you?”

The delicate blush of Sedum.

She said she was off to the trail to do some biking. “I feel guilty, though,” she confided. “I feel like I should be in church.” Lisa and her husband are presently searching for their new spiritual home.

“Well, don’t,” I said, “I’ve never found God in a pair of pantyhose.”

But I do find the divine in my garden…every single day.

The "Resurrection Lily" is one of my favorite late summer flowers.

As a matter of fact, gardening has helped me to evolve in a number of ways. On the whole, I don’t consider myself a very patient person. But it’s a different story in the garden. When you often plant from seed, as I do, there is no such thing as “instant gratification.” Many beautiful perennials simply don’t bloom their first year. And what about lovely biennials, which only bloom after two years? That’s truly patience, my friends.

I've picked the perfect location for this velvety Lamb's Ear.

I have learned the art of surrender from my garden. I may try to control the moments of my hectic day-to-day life, but I have come to realize that I have absolutely no say over some things…when it rains, when it’s sunny, when the temperatures drop then soar crazily over the course of a twenty-four hour period.

Sadly, I lost many pumpkins to powdery mildew this year.

Still other things affect my garden that I get no vote on. Last year, for example, my neighbor cut down two giant (but infected) Ash trees. The Hostas were none-too-pleased, but the Rose of Sharons are soaring upwards this year! I would say that for every one thing that survives or even thrives in my garden, two things have succumbed.

And finally, a garden is an act of love. Not just the love that I put into my daily tasks in the garden, but the love of sharing, of giving, of remembering all the people that have made my garden even possible. In my garden I have “Sue’s Lilac,” which started as a seedling from a friend named Sue. I also have “Jackie’s Bed,” comprised entirely of lovelies given to me from my mother-in-law, Jackie. There are “Smitty’s Rose of Sharons,” courtesy of a dear departed friend, and “Jack’s Peonies,” from my dad.

This whimsical display of Hens and Chicks always makes me smile.

Though my garden does not talk, it most definitely speaks to me. It has taught me many valuable lessons…and inspired my faith along the way.

Sun and rain - and a little bit of love - will help these tiny seedlings bloom into beautiful flowers next year.

Delighted to Partake in Outdoor Wednesday

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