Food for the Soul
Gardening is a conversations with God
If you are not a gardener, you will not understand it when I say that gardening is a conversation with God. But those who have tilled the soil, planted the seed, nursed the seedling, watered and fed the plant, and harvested the fruit will know exactly what I mean.
The conversation comes in when you feel the breeze brush across your face as you sniff the sweet fragrance of a rose, cinnamon basil or lemon blossoms. There is a connection with something much greater than yourself when you pick your first fruits. There is a thankfulness for the sweet gifts that have been given life in the earth and later burst forth to yield their unique beauty and fruit. The variety of plants that God has given us is mind-boggling all by itself. The ability to grow many of these plants yourself in a home garden is a privilege and blessing. Most vegetables that you get in the grocery store come in several varieties that you will never see unless you grow them yourself.
I view these gifts from the garden as God's way of saying that He loves us. The best way we can thank God for His goodness is to accept the gift and grow gardens. Unexplained joy will come from growing even the smallest garden, even a garden consisting of one potted tomato plant. Gardening is not farming, and what you thought would be hard work will become a labor of love. Buying a pot, a bag of soil, a fertilizer, a pack of seeds and a watering can is about all it takes to start gardening. If you don't have a lot of sunlight you can probably grow some of the shade tolerant herbs.
Flower gardens are just as wonderful and necessary as edible gardens. Flowers can fit any occasion and are sent to friends and family during happy times and during sad times. Growing your own flowers can provide you with an endless supply of fresh-cut flowers to beautify your surroundings.
I forgot to mention that the conversation is wordless. Gardening is an opportunity for spiritual conversation. A stroll through the garden opens the line of communication. I imagine even the farmer converses with God as he plants his seed and expects God to provide rain and sunshine to bring forth his harvest. I imagine too that the farmer thanks God as he gathers the fruit of his labor.
Do not limit yourself to one version or species of a vegetable or flower. Instead, try different versions until you find one that you like the best. Good examples would be lettuces or Zinnia flowers. After planting several types of lettuce in the fall, I discovered two that I really enjoyed -- Bibb and Black-Seeded Simpson. I plant Zinnias each year and this year I found that I really liked one that I planted from seed because of its tall stems and large flowers - Zinnia Giant Cactus Mix. So, do experiment!
In this fast-moving world we live in today, one needs some down time. There are many ways to relax but few will reward you the way a garden does. The next time you feel like a little relaxation and silent conversation, try gardening -- it's good for the soul.