catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 6, Num 10 :: 2007.05.18 — 2007.06.01


Gardening lessons

Part 1 of 10


December may seem an odd time to talk about gardening.  The colours of the flowers, the green of the grass and the rustle of leaves are memories now, quiet under layers of snow.  The daytime view is often just a collection of blues and grays and only at night do the colours of sparkling lights appear. For most people, but especially gardeners, this is the season of remembering and dreaming.

Three years ago, I found myself in a very dry and tired place. Depression had taken away my energy, my hopes and in many ways the life I had known.  I withdrew from my students, my friends and my family, and spent long hours watching the cold quiet scene outside my window.  I grew to love that winter garden of peace and solitude.  The harsh angles of the street and houses were muffled by snow.  The softer colours let me rest and the days of sunshine offered hope in the dancing light that sparkled on the trees and rooftops.

My garden right now is resting, taking a deep breath under the soft snow, but soon things will happen.  Bulbs are preparing themselves to push through the snow in early spring. The sap in the trees will start to warm and eventually the activity in my yard will come back.

My garden can't grow into its full beauty in the coming summer without this season of dormancy, of rest. I forgot that in my life and was forced into a long season of quiet.  During that time I realized that hurrying to do many things all the time may look good to others and be a badge of pride, but in the end it can be very damaging and very wrong.  Psalm 46 says, "Be still and know that I am God," but it is interesting that this powerful command comes in the middle of a psalm about war and danger and conflict—all very busy times.  We all must learn to take times of dormancy, times of rest to let the Spirit work its way through our hearts and our desires.  That is the only way we can come to full bloom in our lives.

Next:  February

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