Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Garden Fever

Something always happens this time of year, right after January first.  My mind can't stop focusing on seeds and soil.  As I fill the simmer pot and place it on top of the wood stove, dreams of tucking seedlings into the dewey earth with my hands fill most thoughts.  What should we plant this year?  Should we grow purple cauliflower or stick with white?  I need to clean those garden tools.  Time to prune the fruit trees!

This impulse to prepare for the growing season hasn't been satisfied for three years, due to living in a fifth wheel, settling in to a new home, and preparing for our fifth child.  All were definitely important, worth-while reasons to forgo a garden, but it means this year I have garden fever bad.  Real bad.  We have actual plans now, and they cause me to wake up thinking about this year's plot. I struggle to think about anything else.  Hopes that placing a sizable seed order would temporarily satisfy my craving were dashed.  It made it worse.

Not everyone experiences this insatiable urge to grow food, I suppose.  All I know is that it has been a desire very deep within me for as long as I can remember.  Never have I felt so close to the Creator as when I'm on my knees in the dirt, hair pulled back, mouth closed in awed silence of who I get to partner with.  Parables come alive.  Personal strengths and weaknesses are never so clear.  Solutions that have been a struggle to find seem to pop out of the ground.  I feel my Father's pleasure in this communion as my thoughts are on Him and my hands tend His soil.  I merely plant tiny bits of seed and He makes nourishment that delights our eyes and palates and feeds our bodies.  Coming in to wash off the grime and sweat after tending our land on a hot summer day is when I feel the most satisfied and at rest.  It's so much deeper than seed choices, garden techniques, and yields. 

The other day, my husband read a passage from Genesis to me, and everything made sense.  Right after making Adam, God Himself planted a garden.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
 Genesis 2:15 (ESV)

The very place where mankind started was in a garden.  Our very first commandment was to tend it.  And because of His great love for us, of course we would find deep satisfaction in this task.  It all made sense.

As life continues and time tries to race by faster than I'd like it to, one thing I know for sure.  I am a gardener.  Making room for this in my life is crucial.  Some might call it a prayer closet.  When this mama tells her family she is going to garden, it's so much more sacred than getting dirty and pulling weeds, and it's not an apocalyptic, fear-based notion.  It's an intimate communion that my spirit joins with Creator and creation.  Afterwards, I come back a centered, peaceful, happier wife, mother, friend, and daughter.  This year, I must make room for the garden.

I'm sharing this at Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. Ah..this spoke to me! I couldn't agree more. I look forward to the day when we have our own land again.

  2. Thats awesome Katie. :)

  3. We have been putting down more cardboard and wood chips on top of that to expand our garden. The worms are numerous, they love that environment. You've just put into words how I feel about growing our own food. Well done.......John Lawson

  4. This is beautiful, Katie. I am inspired.

  5. So beautiful, and so true! May you plant with abandon and reap the joy and peace of sweet, intimate communion.

  6. I feel the exact same way. There is never a place closer to God for me than than in my garden. Every time I pull a weed I think how it is easy to deal with when it is small, but so hard when there are hundreds from a plant I let go to seed, just like sin. I love my garden so much though that it seems like a guilty pleasure. I feel like the house must be clean, and all my "chores" need to be done before I allow myself to escape. Even though my garden provides food for my family. Anyone else feel that way? I discovered Baker's Creek Heirloom seed last year and it was so much fun planting heirloom seeds. Check out their site at www.rareseeds.com . Happy planting!!

  7. I have had the exact same feelings! I totally know what you're talking about. :) It's a a juggle. :) That seed site really looks fun. I ordered through Annie's Heirloom Seeds this year. They have been great in the past. Happy planting to you, too!


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