Gardening — Growing the Spirit

I have always loved gardening. The act of coaxing and nurturing life is centering, quieting, empowering — and yet, always and profoundly humbling.

For, whatever it is that I think I did by planting those seeds — whatever effort was involved, whatever achievement earned — will always pale desperately compared to the act of CREATING those seeds! (A recurring thought/Proof of God — if you think you’re so awesome, then YOU make a tree! Not GROW a tree…MAKE a tree.)

Most importantly, as much as I might love the flowers glorifying our little corner of the world, or the tomatoes and lettuce and radishes and peas and beans we can simply go pick rather than pay for, gardening is never about simply growing plants, as much as it is about growing the spirit.

In both cases, something beautiful rises out of the dirt, given rightness of mind, dedication of body, and  faith in something unseen, but as real and essential as the rain.  Call it love, if you wish.

A poem, to that effect…


I will plant a flower

to show what I

have learned from your love.

I will push the seed deep

into the warm, dark,

moist, living soil.

I will feed it, nurture it

to coax its fragile stem

from its protective shell.

I will open spring’s window

to help the bud find the

sun’s warm, strengthening glow.

I will muddy my knees

to remove all that

would choke its growth.

I will gently pluck away

the browned, curled petals

to let out the new.

I will do everything I can to

help this flower find and

show its sweet, colorful glory.

I will sing only of its beauty,

hiding my dirty hands,

and never blocking its sunlight.

I will cherish this flower

then give it to you,

a treasure from my heart to yours.

I will, for I have learned that

words alone can’t bring

and sustain life, but only love.