I live in a second-floor city apartment with a small back porch. Every year I fill planters and pots and create a small garden. I actually make little diagrams of what flowers and colors I want and where.
Occasionally, I wonder why I work so hard on this? Almost no one sees it. The plants last for only a few months. Given the amount of sun and the small space, I don’t grow anything I could actually eat. I tried: One summer I planted tomatoes, basil, parsley–nothing thrived. Only impatiens, petunias and morning glories enjoy living in this space.
I don’t relish getting dirty, sweaty and tired, but every summer I do it. I love to see plants grow. There is something about the beauty of green things–the leaves, the flowers, the vines and stems, the smell of dirt–that give me hope and joy.
Writer Anne Lamott once wrote, “puttering is my yoga.” Well, gardening is my yoga. I feel closer to God when I am in the presence of trees and leaves, flowers, dirt and rain. I feel relaxed, connected and refreshed.
How about you? What will you do today that gives you joy, connects you to God, and that helps you stay centered?
This message is adapted from The Happiness of Plants, written by Kate Sprutta Elliott for the Women of the ELCA blog.