For me, there is nothing more satisfying than growing vegetables. I suppose it comes from my deep agricultural roots. I come from a long line of farmers, and I love rich, dark soil and lush, green plants. I especially enjoy discovering the weekly, sometimes daily, growth of plants. There is nothing more gratifying than walking out to a garden to see what we will have for dinner that day. My garden is not perfect. Sometimes the weeds can overtake an area. If rain does not come, the plants might wilt and wither, but generally stay alive. Occasionally a vegetable hidden under a leaf will grow to giant proportions. (I have had zucchinis the size of small watermelons!) But, in spite of my inadequacies, the garden produces much food and personal pleasure. This marvelous season of spring touches every part of the senses. The smell of the earth and spring rain, the feel of dirt and seeds, the sight of new sprouts and blossoms, the singing of the birds, and the sound of people, who, like hibernating bears, come out to once again delight in the bounty of God’s creation.
Spring is a Holy Spirit time. Christ has come out of the tomb in resurrection and death is no more—very similar to the garden that has died in the cold and is resurrected in the spring. When tended well, a garden thrives and produces much. Weeds must be destroyed and the soil must be infused with rich, nourishing compost. Isn’t it amazing that decaying, organic leaves and waste create the perfect balance for new life?
Our own souls are very much like a garden. When we open ourselves up to the Spirit that works and moves in our lives, we thrive and produce much in the way of compassion and service to others. The Spirit helps us find ways to weed out bad habits such as animosity, arrogance, and contempt so that true love and mercy for our families and neighbors may grow. We offer up our sins, our failures, and our mistakes so that from them, we can learn to enjoy a richer, more hopeful life with God.
The Spirit remains with and in us. Welcome the invitation!
Plant the Spirit of God in your hearts. Nourish your soul with Prayer, the Word, and the Eucharist. Weed out the negative thoughts and deeds that threaten to destroy you. Prune the weak and thoughtless ways that harm you and others. Reap the bounty of everlasting life. Tend your garden well.
Blessings on your continued Easter journey!