Wednesday, May 28, 2014

For the Doubtful Gardener and Precarious Beginnings




The paper seed packet read, “Mesclun Mix” and pictured a leafy assortment of lettuces.  The seeds themselves were miniscule, small balls the size of a pin’s head, little shards and spikes in a variety of colors. 

I shook them loose into the ground, filling-in short lines where the buttery Boston Bib failed to sprout. 

I was doubtful at best, pulling back the matted layers of dead grass that covered the dense soil.  This is our first year of gardening in this field that has grown grass, dense and soft like carpet, for years now. 

Using a power-house tiller that belonged to my Grandfather, my husband turned the earth two, three times over.  But still, I had to stand on the shovel and jump to dig holes for the small tomato and pepper plants.

Crumbling moist dirt gently around them I remembered my recent introduction to the traditions of Celtic spirituality, how they had a blessing for nearly everything – a blessing for lighting the fire in the morning, a blessing for washing one’s face, a blessing for the planting of a garden. 

I’m afraid we modern peoples have lost the practice of blessing. 

We live in a world hungry for and deprived of good words freely given.  We gather, grab and cling to the good in our lives, forgetting it takes an open hand to give, an open hand to receive.

I was kneeling already, my knee poking through the rip in my jeans, chilled and scraped by the dirt, so I said a blessing.

I prayed that this small plot of earth would remember, be re-awakened to its potential for growing more than grass.  I prayed for precarious beginnings and pictured the spidery webbed roots of each plant merging with the darkness around it. 

Come wind,
Come spirit,
Come sun and rain,
Come bless this place
and the life that grows in it.

I laid my hand upon the earth, the seeds, the plants and whispered goodness over them.

How long has it been, dear friend, since you received a blessing?  How long since you spoke goodness into your own life, into another? 

May you be blessed.
May you be re-awakened
to the potential of your life,
the potential of you.  
May every beginning you make
be a doorway to life.  
May you grow deep roots
and open hands so that you also
may bless another. 

This post is linked with #TellHisStory.

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