Multiple seed and harvest times happen in many places around the world. They even happen in Manitoba. Our farmer neighbour at the cottage is busy planting winter wheat as I take time from my planting indoor and harvesting outdoor gardens to write this post. It feels strange, yet inspiring.
Last week my husband and I lugged bags of compost out of our bins, sand from our horseshoe pits, and sacks of topsoil from the gardening section of a local store into our sun room garden. And then the planting began.
The sugar snap peas are amazing me with their rapid development. The arugula and green ice lettuce Which you see in front of the peas are still waiting to identify themselves with secondary leaves. There’s a mystery involved in this first fall season of indoor gardening. And the rabbit? No danger from this safely staked variety!
It is both pleasure and an inspiration to see these signs of new life, even as my at home hours fill with making jams and pies with our harvested and collected berries, sauce from our tomatoes, and pickles from our beets.
And in the midst of it all, in my work and in home life I am being challenged to loosen my hold on the way things were and to embrace the mystery of some new beginnings. Home life is not blog fodder, but I just participated in Mennonite Church Canada’s annual all staff retreat.
We remembered that this tree had thrived by sinking its roots deeply into the life-giving waters of the Assiniboine River, that it had witnessed and survived all kinds of habitat and social changes. We challenged each other to sink our roots into the Water of Life to find the nourishment we needed to thrive and participate in our changing context.
And then we shifted to disorientation and lament with Psalm 137, where the Hebrew captives wept by the waters of Babylon. We gave each other permission to lament our challenges of responding to the changing seasons of being a faithful church. Later in the day we released and entrusted these laments to God by literally throwing them into the river. By naming and releasing these laments we were reoriented by opening ourselves to participate in the mystery of where God is leading his church.
I’m beginning to sense connections between my gardening life and my church vocation. Is my little sun room garden a symbol of some of the new, more local, and smaller ways the church will speak and nurture in a climate that seems more hostile? I’m not sure. Like the arugula and green ice seedlings, I need to wait for the distinguishing leaves to develop. Keep checking in to see how my garden and God’s garden are growing.