It’s not just our Earth alone that pays a high price for man’s striving for economic growth and material progress. It’s also that fragile part in all of us, which searches for real and higher values than material wealth. (Quote from Slovakian documentary Amazonia Vertical)
The buzz can not be compared to anything else. The euphoria allows everything to make sense. Walking in the garden, a fresh breeze hits my sun kissed shoulders. I can hear birds composing a melody. My steps couldn’t be fast enough to see the growth. Every visit at the community garden is like Christmas time, each week searching for hidden presents, secretly and gently peeking to see what’s inside. I almost feel naughty searching for a budding head of the broccoli, that I must wait instead until it is ready to be seen. The thrill that I get knowing a little lettuce seed could produce such a wholly bountiful meal astounds me.
I used to get my rush from reality television, shopping sprees, and dreaming up my Americanized life. But then something changed in me. It was a process of being uncomfortably comfortable with who I was becoming. An unraveling of who I thought I was. Watching my little boys grow from a kicking-the-bed- through-my-tummy stage to awaiting that first adult tooth to pop through- I have become utterly impressed by the progression of life.
I guess I forgot about that fragile part inside of me. The part that ached for reality. The piece of me that was comforted by the sound of waves crashing the shore, refusing to leave the beach while a thunderstorm burst in, the wonder and fear looking down the Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. Being in the Andres’ Community Garden has been an aid to the reconnecting of the fundamental parts of my being, an understanding of this world and how it works. That when He said it was good, it was good. When He said we would be garden tenders, He equipped us with everything we needed. In mastering and overcoming my thoughts towards the idea that I didn’t have a green thumb has relieved a part of me that has been off balance for some time. In the garden I feel alive, and free. Aware of the significance of growing sustainable and wholesome food, aware of the beauty that I am designed for in this jaded world. Able to overcome.
When I was young I loved horses, I begged my parents to sign me up for the summer horse camp. For a few years it was my favorite time of the year. Our cabin would wake up before sunrise (which was usually extremely difficult for me), braid our hair, feed the pigs, clean our horses, ride, and fall asleep to distant sounds of crickets and farm life. However, I was plagued by allergies the entire time. I wanted to scratch out my eyes, sores formed around my nose- but I didn’t want to give up, I loved it too much. Something in me jumped and soared during this time away from television series and the business of a city. Although this time ignited a passion, I took the allergies as a sign that this was not going to be part of my journey. I just wasn’t made for the great outdoors.
Throughout my life I have struggled with aspects of life feeling fake. There is no faking it in the garden. There is no cookie cutter that one must fit in for plants to thrive. There are little rules and guidelines: be aware of friends and adversary plants in the garden, have good soil, water and weed. Every gardener is different, approaching their plot uniquely and yet the yield is still abundant. The plants do not conform to the perfect size and color as seen in the grocery stores, but their aroma and taste is beyond comparison. In the garden I feel at home. A mutual understanding that I belong here, feet in the soil, unable to argue with the genuine nature growing all around me.
Here in the garden surrounded by my loves, we gathered together to give thanks to the One who paints the sky. Who made us all. And I can sigh in knowing that this is reality, for this family. We took a bite of the bubbling green broccoli before the flower blossoms got to it, before the high temperatures robbed its sweetness. It was better than a fudge sundae. The boys begged for more pieces, we eagerly anticipate the next harvest.
The boys leap for joy as they discover new growth in the green peppers, more bursting vegetables breaking through their flowers. We gather around the flowers describing the objects we see in the blossoms like one would gaze at the clouds searching for pictures. The imagination soars in the garden, the curious play brings smiles to our faces. The atmosphere of learning is all around us, everyone asking questions and solving problems.
Every person holds a passion in their hearts. The fragile side of them that aches to be awakened. It does not look the same. In no way am I saying that my passion is superior, we are all made individually. What do you have that drives you? What do you enjoy that makes you want to skip like a child again? Whatever the answer, be bold and encouraged that deep inside of us holds a higher value than we imagined.