I threw a temper tantrum yesterday. Sort of. Mentally, anyway. Not literally.Every single day over the last weeks has involved SOMETHING or SOMEONE or SOME CRISISTHATNEEDSTOBEFIXEDNOW!!! and that was wearing me down. I am tired of being worn down. I want to do something for ME beyond the usual take-a-shower-because-the-dogs-are-way-too-interested and therapeutic coffee. So even though yesterday was the standard (the new one, anyway) of meetings and bill payings and pick up/delivery of people, there was a spare hour or so after one meeting and before the next one…too little time to go home for a nap and too much to wait in the parking lot…so I went to Lowe’s and bought plants. Tomatoes, peppers and herbs to go along with the stuff that’s already started from seeds, and since today, though cool, is going to be sunny, I am going to go to my Happy Place in the back yard, probably even turn off the phone (which will cause panic in the non-residential family members), and plant things in the ground. I have little homemade garden cloches (which, if I were rich and Martha Stewart, would be beautiful glass things, but because I am not they are made of clear plastic juice jugs saved over the last several months) with which to protect the tenderest babies from the cold. There is a lovely cold frame to put over more tender things, and many assorted peas to admire as they curl their picturesque tendrils up the trellis.
Himself insisted that this garden be built, exactly the way I wanted it, complete with a white picket fence and an umbrella’d table to rest under with a glass of mint iced tea when it got hot. I remember last Summer, working with #2 as he filled the beds with dirt and straw and manure…the satisfaction of getting hot and sweaty. I thought I hated sweat-work but this was fun and felt good on skin and muscle.
All the green beans, okra, tomatoes, and eggplants made for delicious Summer food. This Spring we will get to enjoy salad greens and spinach, many different types of peas…I used to despise peas, but fresh from the garden and lightly cooked is a whole ‘nother experience entirely. I also learned that the tendrils are tasty and interesting in a salad. how about that? An interesting salad fresh from the garden is a wonderful, wonderful thing…like something from the Garden of Eden. A simple dressing will do: Simmer a couple of slices of garlic and a bit of cracked pepper in some olive oil (don’t let it fry!), add a bit of zest and juice from a lemon, and there you are. You can make the salad however you like…I love a few shavings of parmesan cheese and some homemade rye croutons. Bliss, y’all.
The garden is a place where I can talk to God, because His creation is so evident there. His provision for my family in the way of fresh foods, and for me in the calm I feel there. It is away from meetings and bill-paying and pickup/delivery. This Summer, I will see delicate things and sturdy things, bright colors and gentle hues, heat and cool, sun and shade, peace and delight. It isn’t intended to Provide For The Family, though that is certainly a wonderful benefit. It is meant to give me a place to do things, talk to those closest to me, reach out to God’s creation the way He intended it to be…as a steward of all this, to take care of it and use it gently.
I am grateful to Himself for insisting on it, for his pushiness about getting it together, and for refusing to listen to me get cheap about it. “If you could have it exactly the way you want it, how would it be?” he asked me…Now I have a white picket fence with roses and flowers, big beds that are easy to weed and care for. I will think of him and smile, instead of feeling that overwhelming grief that has become part of my current Normal.