October 2019

“Let all creation praise the name of the Lord. For God’s name is sublime: God’s glory towers over the earth and heaven!”

– Psalm 148:13

Gardening has been part of my life for the past 70 years, thanks to the blessing of enthusiastic and knowledgeable mentors. First, my mom, who with the restrictions of urban living managed to tend and pamper myria colorful flowers and plants. Second, my mother-in-law, free to plant and harvest land, limited only by the rules of infringement on acres set aside for our farm’s crops.

This spring, I resolved to slow down a bit and reduce the size of my garden. So, with the help of a local expert, we created a 16’x33’ raised area where I could happily “play” with less physical stress and still reap the benefits of nutritious food in smaller portions, just enough was my thought.

Despite the cold and severe rainy spells that plagued the Thumb region this spring – the harvest is plenty! I am amazed each day as I check to see the goodies the garden displays for my enjoyment. This year’s harvest has been more than just enough and allowed for much sharing. I have been able to preserve some of the abundance for my children and their families, as well as neighbors.

My new space also provides a lovely area for prayer. As I till the soil, plant and hoe the weeds then harvest the fruits of my labor; my heart sings in praise of a generous God. I take time to breathe deeply and invite God to join me as I care for this little piece of Earth. The colors that unfold are bright and vibrant, reminding me that part of the experience of eating is how food is presented to those who gather at the table. I pray that as friends and family come to my table, they are welcomed with the gifts from my garden that will help them savor both the food and the conversation. I thank God by how graced I have been this garden season, not only with sustenance for my body, but also nourishment for my spirit.

John Burroughs, an American naturalist and essayist, writes, “I am in love with this world. … I have tilled its soil, I have gathered its harvests, I have waited upon its seasons, and always have I reaped what I have sown … and always have beauty and joy waited upon my comings and goings.”

Margaret Clor, IHM Associate