One of my delightful childhood memories is of the “Victory Garden” my grandmother and mother planted each year. Grandma raised many children during the Great Depression and I think the habit was with her, and the skill as well.
Every year, according to my memory, we had a garden that must have been at least a quarter of an acre. The space was used well and I recall piles and piles of fresh, ripe tomatoes, jars of green beans and jams lining the counter during the harvest. We even had a buried old freezer in the back yard that acted as a root cellar full of carrots.
Of course when I started my own family with a bit of land to myself I continued the tradition. Visions of home grown, organic produce filled my dreams. Go big or go home! I told myself.
Turns out I should have just gone home. Even these many years later, probably because I’ve never had to rely heavily on my crops, my very best gardening years have been scraggly and ill kept. I’ve had some good tomato crops but never have I lined my counters with the red, glowing bulbs reduced to jarred elegance.
If I’m being frank, and you know I lean toward it, I suck at gardening.
I was at my most shamed when I went to a friend to ask for help with a sad strawberry crop. “I suck at this,” I easily admitted. “What am I doing wrong?”
J’dean is a good friend and even though she is practically a master gardener she made me feel okay about it. “It’s a bad year for strawberries,” she confided, “Don’t worry about it. Gardening is an experiment ever year.”
It is this advice that has kept me in the gardening ring. Every year I give it another go, though I sometimes wonder if I was born with only one green thumb and it’s the one that was cut off in a farm accident.
But this is Michelle Church and I do have a point. If gardening is a challenge, how much more difficult is religion? With it’s always changing landscape and an ever changing world and life and personality, how will we ever get it right? When will I have my spiritual “Victory Garden”, or am I destined for scraggly green beans and questionable cucumbers for the rest of my transcendent days?
No doubt even as I ask the question I know there is no valid answer. Every day we plant seeds of one sort or another in our hearts. And we watch them grow and hope the environment and the psychic weather will grow something lovely and grand. And all we have is hope and all we can rely on is faith. Every garden and every season will be different. No getting around that, master gardener or no.
Like, share, tweet, comment and plant your seeds, baby. Who knows when you’re going to need a bumper crop.