The inspiration for this post came from a piece called Tending the Garden of the Soul...
The garden. Saints and poets have found inspiration there. The word
garden, for some, evokes a mental image of a peaceful place, a haven and
sanctuary. A garden in this context is reflected in a quote by Mexican
architect, Luis Baragan…A garden must combine the poetic and be
mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.
Having grown up a "city" girl, I was thrilled when, as a young bride, my husband and I took over care of the family farm. What joy to live and work with the soil and the livestock! I quickly found that my vegetable garden was the place I found the most peace. I could work the soil and tend the plants in silence, all the while working out whatever issues were in my life.
Every year, for the last 30+, the entire family has enjoyed eating the "fruits" of my labors...but it looked as if this year I might not be able to enjoy this pleasurable experience. The land we use for the garden is right behind our house but it takes someone more skilled than I am on the tractor (namely my Hubby) to turn the ground. As he just recently had surgery and has had a slow recuperation, he wasn't able to be on the tractor.
Although I was disappointed, these things happen and I had reconciled myself (and the family) to the fact we wouldn't have fresh tomatos, squash and cucumbers this year. That is, until I had a flash of brilliance (and I can promise you I know where those come from)! I remembered that we have four old troughs we used to use when feeding our cattle down at the barn. Just sitting there, in the way.
I'm happy to report they are now filled with dirt, potting soil, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. While it's not near the variety I usually grow, it is enough. To give me the peace and joy that comes from raising the vegetables, to put the glorious taste of some of our favorites on the dinner table and to use some equipment that had been quite useless until now. And I can follow the author's advice from the article linked above:
As you tend this living example of God’s creation, reflect on the
possibilities for the growth of the interior garden of your spirit.
What does your spirit need to grow and thrive? How might you make
subtle changes in your life to accommodate your hopes and dreams, to
grow your soul. With autumn’s arrival, you may be surprised to discover a
bountiful harvest of blessings, not only in your own backyard… but in
your radiant spirit, as well.