Can we talk about the joy that comes from growing something in the earth for the very first time? I am newly inducted. This is the first time I have ever planted something, cared for it, and watched it grow. From what I hear, joy over this perennial miracle never wanes.
I was not feeling well tonight. I have not been feeling physically well for a long time now, and sometimes that not feeling well tethers itself to emotional pain. CHB is usually the one to tickle me or joke me out of my funk so that I am happy and sick instead of sad and sick. He is away on business tonight, so I couldn’t rely on his good nature and comic relief.
I stood by the kitchen sink at 6:30pm and looked out the window, trying to push my dark feelings through the glass. “I don’t feel like I can make it through the night alone,” I thought. Then I felt the Spirit say to me, “Go outside. Look at your garden. Just for a minute.” I have not been out in my garden for weeks because I have been too tired. I wasn’t in an emotional space to argue with the Spirit, so I unlocked the back door and walked through the grass.
When I got to my garden, I knelt on the earth. I pulled up a weed. I dug up the potatoes. I plucked the red tomatoes. “Just for a minute” turned into two hours of kneeling in the dirt, grooming, harvesting, and pruning. Watching the beetles and spiders scatter and the worms flip from side to side. During those two hours I felt light and peace fill my whole self. The darkness I had been struggling against all afternoon was no more than a tiny shadow, a memory.
I think there is some truth in this experience, something important to say aloud. Our bodies are made to be in the earth, digging around with the worms and the beetles. My family knows this. My ancestors knew this. I am knowing this now. We are made of earth stuff, and we will return to earth stuff. It only makes sense that submersing our bodies in the work of the earth–soil, water, air, rock–will bring a peace greater than most anything else.
So, thank you, God, for birthing me from the earth. Thank you for the miracle of toil. Thank you, God, for my little garden.