Today we'll have a guest blogger, my dear friend Raymond Alexander Kukkee
who writes at Helium and has his own blog Incoming Bytes
Finding spiritual contentment through gardening
I breathe in the freshness of the earth as I carefully pull the weeds from my garden and listen to the early birds chirping at seven in the morning. The sun is coming up, and a gentle breeze is refreshing, but cool. Why am I so early? The weeds in the vegetable patch can wait, can they not? Perhaps I should procrastinate and sleep late, but I prefer the serenity of gardening in the early morning. I have found spiritual contentment in gardening.
Weeds aside, in my garden everything works perfectly. Perhaps the weeds, too, are perfect, for they do encourage me to think, to examine every tiny plant in detail and to decide which is which . I know most of them. I choose the weeds. The roots come out of the moist earth easily after a gentle rain. Chickweed, amaranth, crab grass, and even stringy wild buckwheat that grows like ivy decorates my vegetable rows. Canadian thistles, even as babies, are perfectly protected with thorns, reminding me to put my gloves back on. Dandelions in the middle of the wide carrot row are in flower, their brilliant yellow flowers waiting to be picked by a curious gardening child and offered to Grandma as a gift from heaven. I leave them. Somehow, earlier in the spring, the cultivator missed their deep, powerful roots too. How wonderful for Grandma. How perfect.
Pear, plum, cherry and apple blossoms are out, it is so natural, so simple; the blossoms smell wonderful and sweet and in the perfection of God's plan, offer the cedar waxwings something to eat. The waxwings prefer the pink crab-apple blossoms for some reason. Maybe they taste better, but it matters not, there are thousands of blossoms to taste.
Dogs lay in the grass silently, wagging their tails and quietly watching me when they are not gazing at the squirrels high above them in the black ash trees. The squirrels in turn chatter at the birds; the robins hop from branch to branch, carrying twigs, grass, and long strands of white horse-hair for weaving and nest-building. The nests are almost finished.
I am almost finished the third row, and it is time to lean against the hoe, straighten the complaining muscles, and watch the bottom of the sun leave the horizon. I close my eyes and thank God for the blessings of life offered by our wonderful garden. I have found spiritual contentment in the earth itself, in the spiritual patience that comes naturally with growing things. All weeds are included, as we have decided weeds are special plants offering special and unique reasons to be with us.
As I watch the sun rise, my mind is at peace, a strange and total serenity, but I can smell fresh morning coffee. The next row, the one with little beets and lettuce in it -and chickweed- can wait until tomorrow morning.