Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My very first garden

My very first garden – my husband grew up with gardens, but by his own admission his mother planted the rows, thinned the seedling… it’s satisfying to learn something together. Satisfying for me to see the fruit of our labors—satisfying to get my hands dirty, connect with that primal instinct the world over—a love of dirt, a need for contact with the land.

Discovering for myself the miracle of edible, nutritious, beautiful food emerging out of ridiculously tiny, shriveled seeds. Incredibly easy. Why have I never done this before? Why have never even been interested? Faithfully sprinkle water, easy-soaking the soil, let God’s sunlight warm and expand, pull a few weeds, and in a matter of days it seems, we are eating lettuce salads, fried zucchini, chard in stir-fries, gleefully watching cornstalks grow higher and higher, the ears plump out, the silk spill luxuriously over the husks… mouths watering for August and harvest.

And the colors— blue-green broccoli, limey sunlight-filled cornstalks, kelly green lettuce, bright orange marigolds, huge leafy zucchini…

We watered parched raspberries allowed to run wild these past several years. Now our daily treasure hunt is rewarded with tiny ruby clusters bursting in our mouths… Will and I stop and grin at each other. He holds the bowl, hanging back, tentative of scratching legs; I search and pick, dropping in each jewel, knowing it will hardly land before little fingers find eager mouth.

I walk outside in the cool of the evening, eating a peach (not ours—maybe next year), pulling off each strip of fuzzy skin to lay bare smooth, juicy, golden flesh, feeling juice drip down my elbow, my chin, watching birds flit about feeding in the dusky light… I toss the pit, make a careful circuit of the raspberries, gather a handful to eat eagerly, guiltily (kids in bed), twist off three glossy green zucchini, notice the sherbet-swirled blossoms curled for sleep, ready to wither so more fruit can emerge from their dryness...

Satisfaction pools comfortably in the bottom of my stomach. I cradle my zucchini in one arm as I pull dry towels off the line with the other, spread my bounty like a prize on the kitchen table, look back over my shoulder at my three green promises of more… abundance.

Grow a garden.

It’s green grace every day.


  1. Your words are beautiful, and they make me miss my garden, and having fresh food (and herbs) at my fingertips. One day, I will have a garden again, and I will get to teach Savannah the way you are teaching Will!

  2. Wow - this looks and sounds so..right. There is so much learning to be had from gardening. Like Patience and waiting for our reward:) I loved reading about your garden Carolyn! It made me think about heaven and I'm sure there will be one or two gardens there..Enjoy God's green grace:)

  3. "kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk."