I’ve always enjoyed growing plants and flowers. It’s something my father instilled in me. No matter how inept I was, Dad always let me help with our gardens. He even taught me to graft fruit trees, although today I’d be hard pressed to remember how. As soon as I was on my own, I was growing flowers and vegetables, even if only in a window box.
Right now I’m caretaker for the second garden that I have designed and created myself, with the long-handled-tool help of my husband. My garden is adjacent to our patio, right outside our back door. I love to sit on the patio on a cool morning, a cup of tea in hand, and admire the plants. Bumble bees, birds and bunnies come to visit the garden, too, and they seem to like what they find. It’s just as nice at the end of a long day, to relax on the patio or even sit within the garden.
Despite good planning, sometimes the garden holds a new surprise. This spring I found columbine and forget-me-nots growing in my garden, plants I had not added.
I can lose time in the garden puttering about. There’s something about working in the soil that is calming and restorative for me. I much prefer having my hands right in the dirt, no gloves needed. (That’s how my husband and I split the garden tasks well – he does the work requiring long-handled tools and I do anything that let’s me play in the dirt.)
I can’t even begin to imagine how God felt on that first Sabbath, as God sat back and reflected on creation, but I do know what a joy it is to admire the herbs, vegetables, annuals and periennials in my garden. Some of my closest encounters with the Holy have come in my garden.
How do you encounter the Holy when experiencing nature?
Linda Post Bushkofsky, executive director and inveterate gardener, is passing on her love of plants to three-year-old grandson, Jayden, these days.