This is a great time of year for someone like me. I love flowering plants, and I especially love trees. Unfortunately, I live in a second-floor city apartment with a small back porch. But every spring I shop for plants. And I fill planters and pots.
Once in a while, I wonder why I spend my (limited) time, money, and energy on this. Why do I work so hard to do something that almost no one can see or appreciate and that lasts for just a few months? I spend my precious spare time on designing (I actually make little diagrams of what flowers and colors I want and where), shopping, and then planting, watering, and doing battle with my squirrel friends to keep my little patch of nature looking beautiful.
There is no practical reason for this activity. 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, and nothing thrived. Only impatiens, petunias, and morning glories enjoy living in this space.
I love to see plants grow
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 gives me hope and joy.
Writer Anne Lamott once wrote, “puttering is my yoga.” Well, gardening is my yoga. I don’t have a great venue for it, but even with the limitations, I am grateful for what I can do and what it gives back. 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? Do you have a garden? Do you enjoy being in the presence of plants and trees? Or do you have another hobby that gives you joy, connects you to God, and that helps you stay centered?
Kate Sprutta Elliott is the former editor of Gather magazine. This Throwback Thursday blog first ran in June 2014.