How to Find Peace in the Garden
The kids come back tomorrow. I’ve been off work for a 17 day vacation, the longest I’ve ever been off in my life. Today is Memorial Day, so my mind is full of the chaos in my life right now and my great appreciation for those who gave their lives for my freedom.
I’ve been home from our trip for 5 days and I’ve gone out each morning to make some progress on the encroaching weeds that tried to take over while we were gone. But today is different. Today it’s not hot. Today I’m not rushed. Today I stop to discover the amazingness that is the garden and I remember why I love it here. I remember what I’m growing it for.
To check out an article about what research has discovered about the mental health benefits of gardening, click here.
And I remember the joy I find here. I know there are a load of radishes that need to be picked, but I’m waiting for tomorrow so the kids can pick them. I know they’ll be so excited. I also notice several crowns of broccoli at the ready so I’m imagining broccoli and radishes as side dishes for lunch tomorrow. They will love that. It’s also cheese quesadilla day and my cheese quesadillas are world famous in the daycare set around here. So lunch is planned and everyone will love it. I miss my kids. I miss their smiles and their faces and their personalities. Caring for kids is what I was born for and it makes my soul complete.
As I’m making my way from weed to weed and thinking about the seed heads of grass that are hanging over my beds in the fence line, quickly drying out and getting ready to spill their pretty little seeds into my dirt so they can grow. It feels like they are trying to get me. But I stop thinking about the satisfaction their extinction would bring to me and instead look at the progress that my little garden has made even in these last 5 days.
I notice that squashes are flowering, tomato plants have baby fruits on them, and my flowers are starting to flower. I have missed the wonder of this when I could only see the big picture and all the work there was to be done. So I stop weeding and sit down.
My cat walks over and brushes against me with quiet tenderness. She calms me even more. I stop to listen to the soft breeze that is blowing through the leaves, and I hear the cooing of a dove in the trees across the way. And my soul starts to hear what the garden is saying. Listen it says, just listen. Within a minute or two I hear the voice of God whispering quietly in my soul. Tears come to my eyes. Questions I’ve been asking God are being answered. Peace washes over me. I am comforted. I notice myself breathing deeper and more slowly. I notice my senses more as the worry that dulls them fades away. There are some HUGE changes going on in my life right now and frankly they are terrifying, but I know one thing is truer than true. God loves me and He has my back. He’s holding my hand. He’s walking with me. And He has a plan for something good for me.
He’s a good God and as I tell Him that in my heart, the blue heron that lives along the creek flies right over the top of my head about 10 feet above. It’s a wink from my Savior letting me know that He loves me. And that everything is going to be okay.