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First, My Friends — Thank you!

After six years of writing this blog (!) we just peeked over 100 subscribers! Golly!!!

OK, I know, numbers don’t mean anything, really, but people, they mean something. And every one of you is a precious soul who has chosen to take time to engage with me even in a small way. Thank you! Thank you for joining me on this life journey. I am compelled to write to give witness to the story I am living. Thank you for reading and responding.

Saturday, I was reminded how much I love gardens!

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Now, I never forget how much I love spring. Perhaps, because I was born during spring. I love the cool and the warm weather. I love the rain. I love flowers bursting out of the ground — the impossibility again displayed that an ugly-looking bulb can produce radiant beauty! I love how trees burst into bloom. Splendor surrounds us, no matter where we are. Even for those of you living in the desert, it too erupts into color during spring. Spring, I love!

But, I do forget how much I love gardens. There is something wondrous about planting tiny seeds and watching them produce plants!

Both grandparents always had an enormous gardens, canned jars and jars of food and celebrated and enjoyed life’s bounty. Growing up, my parents always had gardens as well. The one I best remember was out behind our house at the ranch. We had moved into that house when I turned 13. The sprawling ranch house sat on a small rise of land boasting 40-acres of almonds my dad loved.

Their garden was not huge but held a rich variety of greens, corn, carrots and beets. There was an orange tree next to it, and nothing tasted better than an orange fresh off the tree in December when they ripen. As a kid and teen I never thought much of the garden, nor did I work it. Self-absorbed, I just liked eating the food from it.

But now, I love gardens. And this year, for my birthday, I got surprised with a raised bed setup for a vegetable garden by my family. A dear friend and our youngest daughter were available to come help construct the beds. We used 22 bags of great quality soil to fill them. Currently, I am hampered in doing such outdoor work because of a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder, so, I need the help.

Seeing the dirt in the garden containers, alone, now gives me joy. I cannot wait to plant! Those vacant, empty, waiting containers are a sign of hope to me. I am going to plant some hardier seeds this week, then plant other plants in a few weeks after the last frost date. But the anticipation has me so filled with joy. Seriously, I forgot how much I love working the soil and seeing plants grow.

Realizing how much I love gardens and love working the soil, but had forgotten, made me wonder how often do I forget or delay or neglect the things in life which bring me joy?

I can get so focused on other things, on business, on what I believe are the busy demands of life, I’ll not care for my heart and soul. How often is that the case?

It took the prospect of a garden to remind me.

One gift a garden brings my life is the gift of a pause. A garden requires daily watering, weeding, tending. Those daily moments are an automatic pause from other activities and provide connection to the earth. Both of these are so essential.

A garden forces me to slow down in this life. To notice life as it comes forth from the earth.

I imagine the repair of my shoulder will force another pause as well.

I have noticed how much God likes to use the circumstances in life to remind me what is needed. And for certain, one thing needed is to pause, to reflect, to look up, to look around, and celebrate the beauty given in the moment.

That’s what I need, anyway. And God is gracious enough provide it through the garden.

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