Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tending the Earth

One of the things I most love to do - especially on these beautiful autumn days - is "Tending the Earth". I love the creative process of planning and setting up a garden; then watching it grow, develop and transform with each season. This time of year, I'm pruning, mulching and preparing for Winter's rest. (And establishing a new border in the process...)

Today's primary goal was putting the hosta into the ground. When the dog obtained rights to the fenced in portion of the back yard this spring, there were two choices - put the hosta in pots for the summer, or let them be trampled by a quickly growing puppy. I chose the former. When I dug them up, I didn't know where their final destination would be, so into pots they went.

They came to me from my mother's property in Massachusetts - and likely arrived there from my Grandmother's home in Virginia. They spent some time in the ground in our previous yard, and then moved with us to our current home. This year, they have thrived, bloomed and produced seeds. (Which I scattered beside them in their new border beneath the pine trees).

Second on the project list was pruning the Rose of Sharon. Heavy with seed pods, the branches leaned nearly to the ground. As I trimmed their edges, they straightened. The pods were then scattered behind the row of recent yearling transplants. With any luck, some of the hundreds of seeds will develop into a thickly flowered hedge.

Final project on today's list: weeding the driveway. I love the mindless task of weeding: Especially in areas where it truly is mindless - like on my gravel driveway. If it's in the gravel and it's green, I can pull it. Yes, I know I could buy some spray that would kill all the life among the stone, but I have way too many issues with widespread distribution of toxic chemicals. Besides, it's one of those places where I find God...

There is something about having my hands in the dirt, or handling these great creations - plants - that captivates me. The thing about plants: they trust. They know their purpose: Grow, bloom, seed, prepare to rest. Even the crabgrass knows it's purpose - TAKE OVER - and it does so with abandon! It doesn't question: "here?" It grows. (and grows and grows....)

The other thing I love about "Tending the Earth": it invites silence and quiets the mind. The "Ever-loving To Do List" is temporarily set aside in my head. I take time to pray, and I take time to listen. I notice the birds in the trees, the sun on my back and the wind on my face.

I notice the thoughts that pop into my brain. Some meander in, and pass right through. Others enter dramatically and demand attention. Without the usual background "noise", it's easier to decipher the messages in their urgency. Once decoded they can be brought before God, and the healing can begin.

It seems like nothing more than digging and planting and just plain hard work. But, for me, "Tending the Earth" is a time and a place for me to be with God. It is a place for me to grow.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Linda, Thank you for your words. You have an artist's/poet's heart. I recognize it as I do, too.

I enjoyed reading your words and will be back. (I found you through Jo Ann's blog.)

Blessings, Susan (at Lila's Journey)