The beautiful urgency of the garden has brought me to my knees.
Spring harvest and spring planting require that I turn away from the concerns of our suffering world for the hours it takes to grow our family’s food.
Rows of Garden of Eden pole beans shake free from their brown seed jackets so they can climb. The tomatoes are still orderly, restrained by the cool of these nights. I keep pace with their growth by pinching off side shoots and tying up the leading stems.
After we harvested and froze most of our collards and kale, I turn the soil with a spade, and finger loose the roots of dollar weed, sorrel and rattlesnake root. The fat worms I tuck back into the ground. Garden spiders skip away from my work, carrying their precious egg sacs.
As my hands sort weeds from soil, my ears sort the songs of the wild birds: wintering goldfinch and cedar waxwing tuning up fragments of their breeding songs in the oaks; and parula and yellow-throated warblers, red-eyed vireo, and yes, the great crested flycatcher, all shouting their own return from the South. My senses are in pleasant confusion: is the scent of lemon blossoms I inhale, or the bird song? Or both?
From the floor of the garden, as I kneel and disentangle weeds, I meditate. How might we disentangle our world from its war-saturated ways?
I pray: Earth, ally me with what is life giving, beyond this simple planted plot of food. Teach me how to come into more powerful service to You and all Your beings.