The Garden Sleeps
I was born on a warm January day in Bakersfield, California. The cooler days of fall get my mind ready to hibernate in my art room as the temperatures dip below 60. Yes, that’s right, 60 is my ideal low and 85 is my ideal high, maybe even a little warmer. I have never tolerated the cold very well, so moving to Colorado some 10 years ago has had its challenges for me, especially in the gardening category.
Since being here, I have learned to let the frost kill the tender annuals and not fret over the garden preparing to sleep for the long winters here in Colorado, and I must say that I am truly amazed that such beauty can return after a few feet of snow and several layers of ice without any help from me! God knew what He was doing when he set the climates all around the earth. I just haven’t found “my” climate yet to live in.
The more that I live here in Colorado, the more I’ve learned about endurance, patience and rest through the example of my backyard landscape. You see, I used to be a person who ran from pain, sorrow, and troubles. I’ve had a lot of those very things in my life and it seems like every year that I have lived, I’ve had some of or all of the aforementioned three in my life. I’m a strategic thinker by nature and I can come up with a solution for most problems even before you tell me your whole problem. It’s the way I’m wired, but I didn’t realize this until just a few years ago. Way back when, my go-to solution to my problems was just to “walk away” or better yet, to run as fast and far as I could go. What I didn’t realize is that when I ran away, I took me with me, never learning the needed skills to face issues until the last ten years.
In the garden, as a plant grows, each season and every stage of a plant’s life has meaning and purpose. If a plant, let’s say a fruit tree, grows to maturity without bearing fruit, the gardener will prune it way back and heavily fertilizes it to force new growth that will produce fruit the following season. It’s not like the fruit tree can just take up roots and leave for another garden because it didn’t like being pruned or dumped on. The outside help of the gardener assists the tree in the right season to promote a bountiful harvest that will benefit many in the years to come. It takes patience, care, and rest.
My life is very much like that tree in God’s economy. Sometimes I need His help to prune me back in my attitudes or ungratefulness and sometimes that involves a lot of crap being dumped on me and then being forced to rest for a season, but I know from experience that only good comes from His gentle work in my life. I don’t like the pruning and I definitely don’t like the “fertilizer” being applied, but I’ve seen the growth, the fruit and the blessings that my life has been to others. I have experienced the rest that comes when my heavenly Father has worked His will in my heart and I don’t feel the need to run anymore. My garden is a beautiful reminder that He cares, He notices me and He desires to see me flourish in all that He has for me. In the times of rest, I trust that the next season promises to bring new life and the ability to stand firm in His truths and to see the beauty of His work.