|Photo-- Shelia Rickers. Me pulling weeds at Growing Together Community Gardens, completely oblivious to the camera.|
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
The Thing About The Garden . . .
One can go to the garden a little grumpy or in pain, with a headache or a resentment—and work one’s self back into peace.
That happened to me yesterday, suddenly, in the rhubarb. Suddenly everything else was just gone and there I was sitting on the cool earth, enmeshed in the jewel tones of rhubarb, entranced by the beginning of autumn glimmerings on blueberry leaves, and the glory of the Jerusalem artichoke's crown of fall flowers. I was suddenly just there, the sweet brisk fall air tickling my skin. I was just there with Creation and rhubarb. No more grumpiness, no more pain, no more headache, no more resentment. I was back into peace.
Our first frost had visited the night before and these lovely stalks of rhubarb were tugged and twisted loose for the food bank. Each stalk a gift. A gift to me, in their simple beauty. A gift to the food bank, and from there a gift to the precious people who depend on the food bank, who look to the food bank for something sweet they would otherwise never have. My thoughts went to these precious people, some of them elderly, some of them disabled, some of them working long hours for low pay—supporting our economy and our elite yet not able to make ends meet. My thought went to these precious people.
Rhubarb is seldom available in our stores and when it is, it is very expensive. And here was this gift, fresh picked, organic, and loved. Grown with love. Given with love. There certainly is not enough for everyone. But not everyone loves rhubarb. Our food bank is very special. Customers get ‘points’ which they spend, they get to make choices. And for some people that choice, today, will be rhubarb. Sometimes rhubarb is more important than tuna fish or eggs. Sometime the memory of the treat made from grandma’s garden is more nourishing than anything else can be. And for some people, that is the gift that rhubarb can bring.
In many of our old cultures, our wealth was not counted by what we hoarded. Our wealth was counted by what we gave. Creation is the gift to us, which nurtures us. Before we made up all this extraneous stuff, before people owned and controlled land, before they developed monetary systems that impoverished many and enriched few, before all that, everything we needed was a gift from Nature, from Creation, and the labor of our own hands.
My hands are not as young as they used to be. But there are still a few hours of labor left in this aging body. I can still weave myself back in to Creation, back into the garden, and I can still count myself wealthy as I find that I, and the garden, have something to give.
If you would like to join us at Growing Together Community Gardens, we have a very few available garden beds; and we always welcome volunteers.