Tuesday, February 28, 2006
The Good Earth
The air is warm and dry today. Spring like with a gentle breeze. One apricot tree is beginning to bloom and the daffodils are delighting us with their little yellow bonnet heads. This morning when I woke long before the sun, I knew it was the day to plant. You can feel it in your bones when you have gardened as long as I have. Maybe its like the feeling you have in early spring when you have an overwhelming desire to drive with the windows open, let the wind blow your hair and perhaps that perfect old song comes on the radio that reminds you of your youth. You turn it up loud. Its a perfect mix, you just feel that spring is here.
I headed off to the store to buy some plants and met a man there, 83 years old. He asked me something about the blackberry bush he was holding. Said he just knew I would know what he wanted to know. He said my head covering and dress told him that. We chatted for a while and that while turned into over an hour. Just talking for an hour in the plant section of Wal-mart. Now everyone in my family says I am a people magnet. Everyone comes up to me and talks to me. Its true. People just come over to me and start talking about all kinds of things and I listen. Every person walking free on this earth deserves to be heard at least once. Some I admit may be not so pleasant but we never know how a stranger got to be where they are. Anyway, this kind man was so full of wisdom and grace, yes he was a godly man, full of God's grace. He told me of his love for the Amish and how he went up there a few years ago to become one. He shared with me how he drives around his big old Texas ranch in his Amish buggy, taking life slow and enjoying what you can see and hear at that speed. I liked this man and invited him to church and he was happy about that. If I had been in a rush and hurried him off, it would have been me that was cheated. I would have lost an opportunity to learn from him. I would have lost a blessing. When we did part I said to him, " the Lord bless you sir" and he had a tiny tear come to his eye. He said that was just what he needed today. My heart was filled with such a happy feeling after my encounter with him. And it continued..in the fabric department I purchased 5 yards of a nice solid blue for a new dress. The woman cutting it for me, shared with me all about her 3 children, her 10 grandchildren and her 25 great grandchildren. She was married at 15 and is now 75 and working at Wal-mart. Staying vital and busy. She told me how blessed she was. I parted there after chatting for a bit with my dress fabric in hand and turned to her and said, " the Lord bless you." and she came running up to me and hugged me. Said that was just what she needed today. We all have such a purpose each day. We may be just where we are to say a simple kind word.
I came home, had some lunch with my husband and set to planting in the garden. The beds were stiff and crusty on the top. The soil baked a bit. The hoe easily made the soil into dark rich beds to plant in. On my knees smoothing the soil and digging little holes in which to put the plants, the earth felt good. The soil slightly cool and moist. A good mixture. The tiny clumps breaking with my fingers and reminded me of brown sugar. I planted lettuce, romaine and a red lettuce. I put in lots of spinach and some Brussel sprouts. I stood up, looked at my work and felt good. My bare feet and hands dirty. My white apron, not so white any more. The hem of my slip dusty and brown. Good earth all over me. It occurred to me that having a garden is like meeting that kind older man today. You take some time from your busy day and find gold. Golden moments. Before I came in the house I took some pictures so I could share this all with you and I picked some cabbage from our cabbage patch. Only a few heads left now. I came into the house thinking about baby chicks, tiny ducks, frisky goat kids and reminding myself that there are so many things to be happy about. Each season holding its own joy. I am indeed blessed.
It is a silent sort of morning, sitting next to the wood stove in my rocker, watching the birds outside my windo...