Recollections of a perfect spring day. (God, help me remember the sacred ordinariness of it all.)
We started at the farmers market. The sky was bright — the radiant blue of springtime perfection. Justin and I were on the hunt for vegetable plants to bring home and welcome into our garden.
As we moseyed from booth to booth, we purchased a variety of gorgeous new plant companions. Everything seemed blissful — the sun and birds and people. Justin stopped for a piece of lefse. Cinnamon and sugar, of course.
The afternoon was spent in the soil back at home. I tried out my new pink gardening gloves. First we did some tilling and weeding. There were juicy worms with every turn of the earth. Then it was time to plant.
By that point, Finn, our redbone coonhound, had claimed our new raised garden bed as his own. He loves to perch on comfortable spots off the ground. We weren’t surprised by his fondness for fresh, soft soil.
When it came time for us to dig in that area, Finn stepped slowly down from the raised bed and stretched with a happy yawn. A perfect canine companion, he reminds us to slow down. To stretch and yawn and nap. For Finn, there is rarely a legitimate reason to rush. I appreciate his perspective.
We placed the herbs into the earth first: rosemary, basil, cilantro and sage. Then peppers in a multitude of varieties. We imagined future bowls of fresh salsa and evenings playing music on the deck with our neighbors. Then we planted a row of peas. After that were the tomatoes, squash and cucumbers. When the gardening was finished, we felt good and grateful.
Gardening is an exercise in trust and hope. We don’t know what the months ahead will hold. Will it keep raining with regularity? Will the plants take root? Will the seeds leave their tiny shells behind and sprout? As the weeks go by, will rabbits make our efforts into their private salad buffet?
We don’t know. We plant anyway.
We will try to assist Mother Earth however we can in caring for these plants. We will water and weed. We will watch the small changes that take place each week. We will wait.
As I write this column, Justin and I are living in an in-between time. We are waiting. The organization I serve will soon elect a new bishop, and with that will come change — though we don’t yet know what those changes will be.
The last few months have been a glorious, challenging gift. This transitional time has been a lot like planting a garden. It’s an exercise in trust and hope. It’s a willingness to keep breathing compassion into the atmosphere and planting love into the earth regardless of the outcome.
We don’t know what this summer will hold. But whatever the case might be, we will have a garden to tend. It will teach us and feed us, and we will be ready.