Easter Week Five – Plant a Garden

 May 3, 2018

Getting your hands dirty in God’s good earth is good for your spirit! There is nothing like planting a garden and watching new life sprout forth. As a child, my mom would start flower seeds in the house in preparation for planting them outside once the weather warmed up.

I attempted a garden when my children were young. I had visions of them assisting me in this endeavor and eventually taking over, providing our table with fresh vegetables. However they never took to the idea, leaving me alone in the hot sun, picking weeds while they retreated to the shade and played. And then, when the vegetables were ready for harvest, I had more than we could eat so I had to seek out neighbors willing to take my excess off my hands. I finally decided it was not worth the effort. I gave up my garden and waited for neighbors to share their bounty with me!

Benefits of Tending to a Garden

Besides the benefit of producing food and flowers, there are physical and psychological benefits associated with gardening,  including:

  • Stress-relief and self-esteem.
  • Heart health and stroke risk.
  • Hand strength and dexterity.
  • Brain health and Alzheimer’s risk.
  • Immune regulation.
  • Depression and mental health.

There is something about being out in nature and digging in dirt that is healing to the mind, body and spirit.

Reliance on God

May 15 is the Feast day of St. Isidore, patron saint of farmers. Farmers know about relying on God. Who is it that blesses the seeds and sends the rain and the sun to help them grow but God. Farmers are naturally attuned to the earth and to the God who makes plants grow. They are aware of their dependence on God for their livelihood, their need for God. They are aware of the importance of work, that a garden doesn’t grow in a day but is the result of hard work, inch by inch, day by day.

Farmers are attuned to the earth, to the seasons, to the weather as they plant seeds and watch over them until harvest time. Farmers can teach us about the earth and care for the earth; they can teach us about hard work and dependence on God.

Spiritual Gardens

You don’t have to have a large garden to benefit from gardening. A small herb garden will suffice. Or plant some flowers. I always look for the hardiest of flowers and shrubs for my yard and home, ones that thrive on neglect as I’m not the best gardener.

And you can always start a spiritual garden during any season. Tend and nurture with prayer, kind words and good deeds. Pull out the weeds of jealousy, greed, envy, pride, vanity, gluttony, and unchecked anger. Plant seeds so that others may reap. Ask God to water your garden with the blessings God so freely bestows.

Each spring, I enjoy getting outside and decorating my yard and home with flowers and plants. They bring joy to my heart and remind me of God’s presence.

Do you have a garden? Tell me about it, or post a picture!

This post is part of a series on the Seven Weeks of Easter. Sign up to follow my blog and and receive a free copy of  Dancing on a High Wire the first book in my Dancing through Life Series.      click here to sign up

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