Monday, June 3, 2013

Spiritual Gardening

Roto-tilling in Condon
I’ve done it.  I have finished “putting in” my vegetable garden.  A few weeks ago I borrowed the neighbor’s rototiller ripping up bone dry sod and soil.  At that time, I “laid out” half of the garden in a labyrinth pattern using dried leaves from the elm tree and holly bushes. I even congratulated myself on my “green” approach to creating "the path."

Dried leaf path
In my initial gardening endeavor, I planted peas, sunflowers, marigolds (yes, mixing flowers with vegetables for color) three tomato plants, and dill.  

Then the weather changed.  Cold wind and rain. My path became general ground cover. Not everything we try is a success, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try something new, different, or experimental.  How else can we grow in our talents, in our faith?  Learning #1:  Dried leaves do not necessarily make the best material for a labyrinth path with the winds of Eastern Oregon.

During the rains and COLD, I decided that I would not make a second labyrinth pattern for the garden. For the "right-hand side" of the graden, I planned to plant in rows with some hills for squash and cucumbers.  I sized up the seeds I had purchased, how I could utilize the space best, and decided rows would be okay. Learning #2: You can only do what you can do.

Labyrinth as originally laid out
Today (Sunday, June 2) the sun shone and the temperatures were in the upper 60’s.  After church, visiting Summit Springs Village with Tim, and lunch at the Roundup, I attacked the garden with a fervor to plant.  First I weeded where grass and morning glories were trying to regain a foothold.  Weeding is good spiritual practice.  It reminds us that we must “weed out” things in our lives that are unhealthy, destructive, or overburdensome.  Some weeds are difficult to get out.  We have to dig deep - in the garden or in ourselves. Lesson #3: Weeding is not only necessary, it’s good for us.

Waiting to see what grows
My next gardening task was to remake the labyrinth path so I knew where to plant the rest of my “starts” and seeds.  I tried using the hoe which made a nice trench, but then when I hoed between the rings of the path for planting - well - I soon became confused.  What was the path and what was wax bean row? Learning #4: Wait to see what happens.

Wherever I planted my beets, wax beans, eggplant, and green peppers is where I planted them.  Now I wait. When they sprout and grow, the path will become apparent.  We don’t like to wait.  At least I don’t.  I can be spontaneous, but with much of my life, I want a map, an agenda, an expectation of what happens next. And whatever is to occur, I want it to happen immediately.  Life, as we know, is not that tidy. My labyrinth path will where it will be.  I will walk the path amidst my veggies and flowers knowing that it is the path that G-d has for me now.  Learning #5 G-d not only provides the path for us, G-d walks the path with us.

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