I want to be a gardener—to know my botanical names, to identify seeds, to plant them so they grow the best possible fruit. Someday, I want to be that little old lady who wears sunhats and keeps seeds in her sweater pockets.
But I’m a beginner.
If gardening is an art (which I very much think it is), then I’m just learning stick figures. Still, the process is lovely.
I took a knife to my lettuce heads this morning and harvested a bowlful. I rinsed it over the sink and spread drying leaves over the kitchen counters. I put a piece in my mouth. It was fresh and just a little bitter.
I’d waited for this since winter—tasting what I’d grown. Reaping the fruit of my hands and God’s earth.
My favorite chapter in Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson is about his home– The Warren— and all the work he sweated into its gardens.
He longed to “shepherd some corner of this planet for the sake of the Kingdom.”
The chapter ends with these stunning words on gardening and belonging and the Kingdom that’s coming:
“I love this place. I love it because I have loved it with my labor, with sweat and blood and a persistent longing to belong to it… I think it reminds me of Eden. The world that is whispers of the world to come…
“The Kingdom is coming, but the Kingdom is here. That’s why we’re homesick, and it’s also why we might as well get busy planting.”[i]
I think that’s beautiful, don’t you?
[i] Andrew Peterson, Adorning the Dark, (B&H Publishing: Nashville, TN, 2019), 60