Finding God in the Garden

There is something about springtime that inspires me to buy, sometimes impulsively, plants and flowers. Something wells up inside of me that makes me want to grow things, to expand my apartment garden and crowd my living room.

When I was in elementary school, our teacher taught us how to grow a plant from a bean and a plastic cup. Excited about the possibilities that this opened up for me, I repeated this experiment at home, rallying my siblings together to have bean plant races for whose bean could sprout and grow the tallest.

I remember one February receiving a mini sunflower growing kit for my birthday. After planting the tiny black seeds, the window sill became my daily sitting spot as I waited in anticipation of signs for green buds to sprout. When they finally did, they transformed into sturdy stalks that produced several flowers, joy emitting from their delicate yellow leaves. In the years following, planting my own garden became an absorbing hobby as I carefully planned and diagramed my garden, purchasing seeds, and spending day after day in my own little corner of the yard.

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.”

— May Sarton

That desire for planting, growing, enjoying the beauty of flowers I enjoyed as a child has never left me. Just today I found myself procrastinating on school work because I had to plant several succulent starters I had propagated from older plants. I learned this trick from Pinterest and discovered with glee that, yes indeed, roots had sprouted from the leaves I had plucked.

I have sometimes viewed my springtime planting frenzy as my own little whimsical fancy, and yet, as I think more about it, growing plants is like creating art. I can’t not make art in some form or other. This is impossible for me. And without a garden of my own, I still need to create, to grow, to bring new life into my daily routine.

There is something spiritual about creating something from nothing. I believe that God instilled in all of us a desire for creating, building, growing, not just in nature but in ourselves and in our lives. The imprint of God’s creation lies in the desire for education, to expand one’s mind. Or its imprint can be found in the desire to meet someone new and to invest in that slow process that will one day lead to a blossoming friendship. God is a God of creation, and every day we have the opportunity to discover more fully God’s imprint in our lives – what God is calling us to create, nurture, and grow.

What is blossoming in your life right now? What are you thinking of planting? How will you nurture it?

Yours truly,
a girl who dreams

 

Look at the Birds in the Sky

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?”
~ Matthew 6:25-27

spring blossoms

My sister and I used to climb the apple tree in our front yard. There was a magnificent knob jutting out of the trunk that made a convenient hand and foot hold which allowed us to hoist ourselves up into the thicket of branches. The best spot was a curve in a large branch that served as the perfect seat for a twelve year old girl. I could spend hours up in that old apple tree, just sitting and looking over the world. I’d watch the little finches who fluttered in and out of the tops of the tree. The tiny hum of bumblebees as they hovered over the white blossoms. A swish of the occasional car passing by.

Today’s scripture reading is one of my favorites, probably because it reminds me of how connected I was with nature as a kid. Everything from the squirrels that buried their nuts in the backyard, the potato bugs we used to poke (gently!), and the rhododendron bush that always bloomed in May just in time for my sisters’ birthdays. Life seemed much more uncomplicated and I didn’t need much to be content. I suppose I lived with an innate sense that I simply needed to be outside enjoying nature, and that there was great joy and beauty in that.

Today, when I see the beauty of God’s creation around me – a rainbow after the rain, dolphins playing near the pier, my succulents stretching taller – I am reminded of how amazing this world is, and how much God really does have a bigger plan in mind that any of us understand. When I think about that simple fact, I feel a sense of calm in my life, and sometimes, that’s all you need.
 
Yours truly,

a girl who dreams