Two of my daughters have been encouraging me (nah, more like nagging – that’s my job girls) to garden. Now I can do many things but gardening…I am not nor do I have a green thumb; more of a “plantus unknownus” thumb. I do not know why they think I can keep a garden going because I can’t for the life of me, even keep the flower gifts or plants given to me ALIVE. I think there must be a gap in the synaptic brain cell that cowers at the mention of plants. My mom, bless her heart, felt that I needed lessons on tending to her gardens in my formative years. What that means in mom language is WEEDING. Oh yeah mom, I know that to be true.
Gardening and me??? It is kind of like oil and water; they do not mix. I can’t even be a bit witty about gardeners to compare myself to for I cannot think of one famous gardener. I had to call google…hey google who are famous gardeners…. Lancelot “Capability” Brown or Kim Wilde or Frederick Olmsted or Edith Wharton to name a few. Honestly, no idea at all. I tend to put gardening right up there with sewing, good cooking, needlepointing, crocheting, auto-self caring, baking…the list is a bit intimidating. That gene pool seemed to miss me.
Mind you, on the other side of the garden, which would be me, I have been and walked in some very beautiful gardens; breathtaking and wondrous to the eye. Butchart Gardens on Victoria Island BC. Unbelievable. You go in during the day and it leaves you speechless and in love; then to return at night…whoa… strolling along the gently lit stone paths is an ambiance of holy sacredness. Architecture supreme. Hop on over to the rose gardens adorning Springbank Gardens in London ON; the fragrance and fragileness overwhelms the senses. But the playfulness of the gardens in the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls ON or Cypress Gardens FL, the toastiness of the space to the colourful array of butterflies amidst the rich and abundant greenery…a tapestry of delight, organized chaos, and humbleness.
I appreciate God’s creation whether it be by the sweat and toil of human hands or God’s, all are wonderfully made. I have been witness to people in my own life whom I refer to as keepers of the garden; be the architect, weaving their love of life and splendour and the impermanence of living things. Good role models. Each walk among their efforts, cutting trimming weeding tending, all that is their care. To be or not to be.
Hail to you, keepers of the garden. Waking up at my grandparents farmhouse many a summer morn (the best summer vacations as a child), I peek out my window seeing my grandfather carrying a weathered tin pail, trekking down his years worn path, to this huge rectangular garden he tended, ready to pick fresh and dewy the fruits and vegetables. I smile when I think back to his scarecrow in middle of garden, next to a battery-operated radio he had on every night. Gosh darn critters. Anyway, I know the filled tin pail soon will be part of our evening table and palate. Tasty delight of fresh carrot and beans; sweet succulent bite of raspberry pie. Hmmm.
Then my mind goes back to my grandmothers city home, where each day she would slip out her back door, clippers in hand, ready to snip the brownish petals or over zealous bushy plants; her garden outlining the periphery of her backyard. Oh to smell the crazy mix of fragrances – could not be duplicated in a bottle – from her banquet of floral and fauna wonder. Humbling.
And with the hereditary making, the gifts of gardening passed on to my folks as I walk along their pebbled stone walkway and periphery of their yard to hear their garden come alive. Created a small haven of bliss. To this day in their new home with my sister and hubby…they were not even in the home two months and they got a knock on door, be in the local newspaper for Best of Home Gardens. What can I say?!
So garden? Me? Well I now know what it takes to be a gardener: dedication, perseverance, commitment, planning, willingness, good memory, like to play in dirt but most of all have LOVE and seeing joy in weeding. Got it. Attitude adjustment – good to go. Oops, I cannot forget a little minor detail LIKE you know it would be good to have soil, shovel, hoe, rake, wheel barrow, seeds, bulbs, plant food, gardening gloves, kneeler (for seasoned knees), weed puller, spade, and some kind of plan. And maybe a little bit of rain, sunshine, shade and good soil would be good too. AND A SENSE OF HUMOUR.
For the record, I am just going to say upfront that nothing ever looks like the front of the seed package and I really do not like weeding. Just saying. So now…well I like sunflowers.
Blessings to creation and all living things.
Let us pray for those in need today and for the land we are graced with to be cared and tended for as stewards of earth.