Yesterday evening I ventured out back to check on our small vegetable patch.
As I stood and surveyed it, I thought, “What have I done to deserve this?”
It’s lush and full. Tomato plants form a dense jungle of vines with fruit beginning to form green and fill out under cover of all the leaves. Pepper plants – jalapenos, Scotch bonnet and banana, have more than doubled in height and fullness, are strong, and sport little peppers hanging from the branches. Garlic, still flourishing and growing strong. Rhubarb, still offering ripening stalks well into July.
I’ve done so little. Next to nothing. Last fall, finally heeding years of encouragement from a friend, I sowed 10 or 12 little garlic bulbs. First thing in the spring I weeded and cleaned up the rhubarb. In one weekend I bought and planted tomato and pepper plants. Gave one dose of fertilizer. Maybe 3 shots of watering so far all season. And weeded maybe two times.
I don’t deserve such a full garden. Isn’t it amazing how indiscriminate is the goodness of life on Earth, how blindly gracious and freely giving is Life, and how happy I am when I let myself find myself within it – doing whatever little bit is mine within its seasons and cycles (and purpose) of indiscriminate goodness?
And I wonder … when and where – and why, considerations like deserving and worthy and earning come into the picture? And into my own troubled self-image?
I wonder if I should spend more time in the garden.