In the Garden

Yesterday Bryan and I went with a friend to a market here in Prague that sells plants and fruits and vegetables. We had a great time wandering through stand after stand of fresh ripe fruits and veggies, admiring all of the new growth on the herb and vegetable plants and enjoying the beauty of the flowers around us. Bryan and I ended up buying a tomato plant, some lettuce, some herbs and two pepper plants to grow on the balcony. We will plant them on the balcony this afternoon and I’m really looking forward to getting my hands dirty with this task.

Then last night I read the book Hope for the Flowers. It is a beautiful little story about a caterpillar’s journey to becoming a butterfly and I loved it. I will definitely be reading it again. It was also the first story that I read aloud with the thought of reading to my baby. From what I hear it’ll still be a few more days (maybe about a week) before the baby’s ears are developed enough for it to hear what’s going on outside the womb, but for some reason as I started to read this story I thought of the new growth and change that is happening within me and I wanted to read it aloud to my little baby.

Then this morning when I woke up my brain was writing a short story in my head about a little tree that was transplanted. I forced myself to wake up faster than my body really wanted and rushed to the computer to try and get the story out in writing. I got some of it, but I think that what my brain was writing in bed was a little better than what I put down by the time I got to the computer – funny how it works that way sometimes. But, I still have hope for this story about new growth and change in the life of a little tree.

Then the first blog I read today was Christine Sine’s post on Earth Day. She talks about gardening and all the metaphors for life and God’s work that can come from the garden, but she also mentioned briefly something that really struck me… “the sacramental nature of gardening.” She writes, “how differently would we view God’s creation and our faith if each time we planted a seed we entered into an experience of the death and resurrection of Christ. And what about if we saw the watering of the garden as a partaking in the baptism of Christ after all each time we water it does bring new life to the plants we are tending.” That really struck me. To be honest, I’ve never had much of a green thumb, and I’ve killed more plants and flowers in my day then I’d like to admit, I’ve never had much patience for it and often forgot to tend to the plants. Lately, I’ve been recognizing the importance of tending to creation and also been really liking the idea of growing my own food and living more simply (I guess I fit in with the rest of my generation and a common trend right now – did you know sales of vegetable seeds and transplants are up 30% over last year in the U.S’s largest seed company?). Anyway, I like the idea of gardening a lot, but I’ve had a hard time really getting into it myself, but this picture helped me in some way… thinking of it as a sacrament. I just really like that.

Anyway, I guess God’s been surrounding me with a lot of garden and planting and spring time stuff the past 24 hours and I thought I’d share J

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany

 Photograph by Beth Stedman