I have just come in from an hour and a half of working to prepare a community vegetable garden for my Spiritual Formation class. Our class met with shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows and gloves in hand at the spot we are going to grow the vegetables. We started by scraping the weeds off the top layer, turning the dirt, building frames for the raised beds, and loading 12" of (really good) dirt into the boxes. It was amazing how we and it all came together. There are some members of the class who have no interest in gardening (Christine) and others love to do it; amateurs like me and serious sustainable gardeners like Jeremiah. Christine gets the good sport award, she hung in and contributed a whole bunch!! She gets the "Good Sport/Golden Shovel" award - YEAH Christine!
I love the garden and to garden, it is a thin place for me, it asks for my complete attention. When I get into the garden, I am aware of the dirt, the weeds, the sunlight, what plants are there already, what season it is. I ask, am I preparing the garden for planting and growing now or later? What will grow here or there, and with what companion plants? What fertilizer is needed? Where do I need to create beds and boundaries? See a weed, pull it, dead flower, pinch it. Cut back the leggy limbs and branches to force bushier growth. Watch the garden grow, see how it grows, tend to it's growth. Weed it, feed it, water it, enjoy it.
I will have much more to write about my spirit as our garden grows. For me the garden is a wonderful place to explore my seasons of spirit, and a rich place to feed my soul. I always close the garden gate behind me with a sense of having created, loved, tended and nurtured the beauty of my little corner of God's world. It always make me smile. I know why God looked over all God created and said "it is good."
O Heavenly God, who has filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him though whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen BCP p 814