Thursday, June 29, 2017

baby plants, baby people

Any posts I put together in the near future are very likely to revolve around my garden.  I've dubbed it my 4th baby for the summer (although maybe we should call it my 5th, because I always said that our Ithaca house was my first baby).

I never had a particularly green thumb before, although I think that was more for lack of attention (so many other projects!) and so there may have been some discussions in our house this spring as to whether or not I'd actually follow-through with weeding and watering and whatnot if we build the beds.

If anything kills my garden this year, it's not going to be neglect.  (Actually, the biggest problem I had so far was seeds that didn't sprout due to too much love, err, water).

The gardening season has coincided nicely with the development of Peter's reliable evening sleep habits, as well as with the girls new no-nap-early-bedtime schedule, and so I have a nice little chunk of time to spend outside.  It's incredibly peaceful to be able to do a task with painstaking attention and without interruption.

There are disappointments, of course, like the aforementioned packets of seeds that didn't materialize because I flooded them.  Or Tuesday evening when I discovered that our neighbor's cat(s) decided my fledgling zinnas patch was the best place to go to the bathroom.

But mostly I just wonder at the miracles God created (it's really amazing, isn't it - what grows from dirt?!) and breathe deeply and appreciate that I'm able to see relatively quick results at what love will grow.

Gardening isn't all that different from parenting, in the sense that "everything grows with love" (I saw a t-shirt with a cactus and that phrase before and thought it was brilliant and hilarious).  People (especially little ones) need someone to pay attention to how much water they've had to drink and whether or not they're overwhelmed by the sun or if someone is totally crowding out their space.  And grown-ups and kids alike thrive on love.

I am discovering that the behavior and mood of certain children of mine are particularly  PARTICULARLY sensitive to their sleeping and eating needs. (At which point I'm sure Justin would point out that apples don't fall far from mother tree...)  And yet sometimes, even when I think they've been pretty well rested and pretty well fed, there can still be an afternoon of tantrums.

I can only do so much, and it's an illusion that I could control every single factor to keep my (human and plant) babies growing perfectly.  My evenings of careful transplanting into straight little rows is balm for my soul after crazy days, but there's still the weather and the animals and the bugs and the mold to remind me that I'm not really in charge, and how much I depend on God to even open my eyes.  But He has given us the beautiful opportunity to cooperate with His grace, to nurture what He has given to us.

It's rewarding to see the results of love poured out in time and attention.  Less obviously in children, given that their seed-to-bloom time is a marathon and not a single summer.  But I'll keep digging away, day after day, watering, pruning, loving, appreciating.  What a wondrous gift we have to love things into bloom.


I'm not sure that this reflection is entirely coherent, but it was on my mind as I gardened this evening.  One of my other musings (and potential next post) is about doing something towards a goal instead of waiting until it can be perfect, so I'm going to apply that to this blog and hit publish!  Thanks for your kind response thus far to this reintroduction, and please know that your comments are so very much appreciated and inspire me to keep writing.


One last thought, I recently discovered the blog Better than Eden and was particularly moved by her post "When I'm hurting, draw me closer."  It's at least tangentially related to this post, or perhaps it's just on my mind because it's something I wish I had done better during the latest round of tantrums today, but I think it's worth a read!

1 comment:

  1. Your garden is putting me to shame! We waiting a little too long to plant seeds this year because of all the other projects going on inside and we did not organize our rows and plants anywhere near this beautifully and neatly! Excited to see it as it grows :)