Spring is really here and it’s all I can talk about. Baby lime-green leaves dot formerly barren trees. Carpets of tulips, daffodils & daisies, cascades of purple flowers spill over garden walls. The sun doesn’t set until around 8pm, a good 4 hours later than a month ago! And it’s beginning to be warm (British translation: warm = 10°C/50°F).
So last Saturday a housemate and I went to a garden centre and then we both spent the afternoon gardening. In the end she had two pots of gorgeous flowers and I just had a lot of dirt. Why? Because I planted seeds (they’re a heck of a lot cheaper), while she planted plants. So now I’m left impatiently waiting, peering at dirt daily and saying the rosary for my rosemary. At least in England I don’t have to worry about watering my seeds – there’s plenty of rain for that.
So many times I long for the instant gratification of planting a plant. And all the other things that bring instant gratification. Waiting is torture. But also beneficial… just check out the marshmallow study of the 60s.
Gardening is deeply spiritual. After all, taking care of the Garden was one of man’s first tasks. It’s amongst the growing green things of this earth that I think I learn the most about God. So many of JC’s parables were about gardening. The farmer who haphazardly scatters seed, most of it never even sprouting. Or when the master is said to harvest plants he didn’t even sow. Or the kingdom of God being compared to a mustard seed. Or this: “Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal” (John 12:23-24).
So this spring I’m scattering seeds. Basil, hope, courgettes and love. And I’m hoping for some underground multiplication.