I spent a good deal of time in the garden today. I started my weeding war on Wednesday (ooh alliteration) but realized within minutes of ripping the first unwanted plants out of the flower bed, there was no way I could properly clean the garden in the time I had allotted. That meant it was going to become a week-long campaign. I didn’t really mind much. Of all the things I do in the garden, weeding is one of my favorites. I honestly enjoy restoring the order and bringing relief to the choked plants more than anything else. I think that it’s easier to be a “weeder” than a gardener. A weeder simply removes the plants that should not be in the bed. A gardener however, is able to see the whole picture and create an environment that is a reflection of their personality.
My grandmother, Audrey, was a real gardener. She plotted out contrasting colors in her flower beds, spent months going over Burpie seed catalogs, and planned her garden with the same tactical thought that World War II Generals gave to military campaigns. She knew the Latin names of plants, knew which ones would attract butterflies and which ones would keep pill bugs away, and knew which ones wanted sun and which wanted shade. My grandmother also knew which plants would over take a bed, and which ones could be trusted to only grow where they were planted. She loved daffodils, mums, hyacinths, and roses. Most of all, roses.
She had a plaque someone had given her that stood by the doorway into her Summer house on the Gunpowder River that read:
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
I understood that today, as I worked. It was hot, over ninety degrees, but the humidity was low and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The sun felt pleasant rather than roasting as I filled my bucket with the unwanted plants and carried them down to the compost heap at the very edge of our property. The scent of the earth, pungent enough to make me sneeze, carried an extra sweetness and was exceedingly easy to work with even though we haven’t had rain. The dew was heavy on the lawn, and the droplets made perfect prisms, throwing fantastically small rainbows on the rough green blades. Everything seemed right, and my soul just gave a great big sigh of relief, and relaxed.
I could almost see Jesus in my mind’s eye, resting back on his hands, enjoying the bright sun, cool breeze, and miniature rainbows with me. Immediately I stopped that ‘vain imagining’ . He had so many better places to be and people to see than to be idle with me in the garden. Beside, when was He ever idle? And that’s when He pounced.