Monday, August 23, 2010

Garden Therapy

Today flew by as I tried to get my feet under me. I tried to catch up on what came home in the school folders on Friday, sort through the papers and mail that stacked up during the hospital stay, ran to Costco, and made 4 pints of pesto with the basil that is flourishing in our garden. I picked 2 huge zucchinis (the garden wasn't checked for a few days!) and 8 cups of beans and a dozen tomatoes and carrots. I wish William had more of his appetite back to help eat all this and I wish I had more time to try all the yummy recipes I collected when I had time to dream of our harvest. The variety of grilling accessories that Ryan got for Father's day in anticipation of many vegetable grilling evenings are still in wrapped in their packaging. At least I now know we can grow something. Our previous record isn't even worth mentioning.

As I was alone with my thoughts while checking the garden, I began to make gardening/life analogies. I thought about how miraculous it seems that our garden has done so well when we've neglected it the past 3 months. We put a great deal of effort into it the first few months of the year. We prepared the ground, built the structures (boxes, trellis', irrigation), researched plants, created a blueprint, planted and then sat back and waited for mother nature to work her magic or wreak her havoc. She did both. But not necessarily all in the garden.

There are many analogies here, but the one that stood out to me is how, like a garden needing to be tended and periodically fertilized, we go through life continually tending our physical and spiritual needs. We never know when the storms may hit or how long the droughts will last, but we hope that our preparation will protect us from complete ruin. Occasionally we need some fertilizer to boost productivity when something unexpected comes, but if the foundation was carefully constructed, then a harvest will still occur.

The harvest is rarely as we expect. Some seasons will yield plenty and some will be meager. Sometimes it will be because of error on the gardener's part and sometimes it will be a result of things beyond the gardener's control. There are so many life lessons in a garden, i.e. faith and patience, but this one stood out to me today. I have a strong foundation physically and spiritually. Some days I may falter and start to wither, but other days I'm well-watered and have an abundance to give. But it's a daily process to keep both aspects of life from complete ruin.

Given this is a blog and not a well organized essay, my thoughts come out a bit like a stream of consciousness exercise. That's where this becomes good therapy. And my garden is good therapy.


  1. Love you, Julie and enjoyed the garden analogies. Over the years as I have worked in our yard, I always think of the parables that grow out of gardens. Love all of you and think of you daily.

  2. This is so beautiful. We all need to plan and set things up the best we can, but you're right, in the end there is still that an element of chance. With careful thought and care we can minimise chance.
    Writing from the heart is always the purest forms of truth. It's when we cast aside all the constraints of "proper rules for writing" that the true wisdom flows. And it did in in your words. Thanks! ~~ sending healing vibes to William ~~

  3. It was in the Garden that Jesus saved us all.

    i love you julie. you are built on the Rock.

  4. Julie, you are amazing!!! I love your insights as well as getting updates on William. You are truly inspirational.
    In the garden is one of the best places to think. My garden has been terribly neglected at times, yet is so forgiving. I have a ton of basil too, but don't have a good pesto recipe. When you have a spare minute, will you share yours?
    Best wishes and God bless!

  5. You are my hero! I can't believe you have all the energy you do to get all that done!!

    BTW..Tyler went to the Stake Priesthood last night and really enjoyed Ryan's talk. He said he did a great job.

  6. Love the garden analogy, love you! Good luck at the hospital tomorrow. We are home. but, we always willing to make a trip down there if you need anything. Or, as usual, the pool is always open for the boys. It's too bad Truman missed out on a scrimage with the twins today because of the heat. I hope the coaches try and set up another one. -Jayme

  7. Whenever I am or have been in my garden my thoughts are on my dad. He would love to know that the green thumb tendencies continue, and that you have insights to the seed of faith, the role of harrowing, and that ultimately we tend our garden under the watchcare of another master. Our garden is yielding zuchinni greenbeans and apples. Raspberries lasted only for a short time, but boy we enjoyed them. ML is peeling apples almost daily, and making applesauce. Wish you all were here to help us eat it all up! Love and smiles to you-