At long last, after four years of fits and starts, we finally got the garden planted today.
While getting my self absolutely black with dirt, the gardening occasioned some thoughts on God and our relation to Him:
When He said in Genesis 3 that we would have to make our living by the sweat of our brow and have weeds, etc., with which to contend, boy, He wasn't kidding. Although the temperature was quite nice and it was overcast all day, I sweat like I was trying to fill a swimming pool. And weeds. One thing I have done pretty well over the last four years is to keep the garden area pretty free of weeds.
No matter, there they were waiting for me, and I fought a running battle with them for the better part of 4-5 hours. The planting part actually took hardly any time at all. It was quite relaxing and contemplative. The weeding, however, getting down deep to get those shooter roots for crab grasses, clover, and other odd things one doesn't want or need in a garden, if I was anal about it? I could be out there yet.
The thought crossed my mind that God could do all of what it took me hours to do in the blink of an eye. And yet, since we once tried to reach for being gods (cf. Genesis 3), He has made it patently evident we can't do things simply by willing them. As such, He has given us the need to work -- and work very hard -- for the earth to produce what it naturally produced before the Fall. Even so, even amidst this taking us down a peg, He still allows us to participate in the beauty of creating by enabling us to bring fruit from the ground. And there are few things more satisfying than eating that which you helped produce.
And then there were the gnats and odd mosquitoes. One thing I want to ask God if I am blessed to be with Him for eternity (i.e., I have been saved, I am being saved, and I hope to be saved through my running the race, per St. Paul) is, "Why the mosquitoes? Were they like the rock and the weeds, a product of the Fall?"
Before entering the house, I housed myself off, getting all the caked on black dirt rinsed off as much as possible before showering. This necessarily occasioned thoughts on baptism and the washing away of our sins in that sacrament, not to mention what happens every time we enter the confessional.
I'm know there were other thoughts, but frankly, I'm too exhausted to recall them. Exhausted and happy. Content, really.
If you haven't for a while or have never done something like this, plant something this year. It's not too late. Tend it. Water it. Feed it. See what happens. It doesn't have to be a major crop. It could be an already started pot of basil. But see what joy it brings you.
God bless you, and be assured of my prayers.