Our garden has been greatly neglected and yet, it thrives. In the midst of a hard week, the husband and I, with Isabel, took refuge in the labour of pulling weeds, harvesting what was readying to be plucked from the earth, and watering each bed carefully. It was a healing chore. Over the past number of weeks, we have been receiving steadily worsening updates on my grandmother’s health, and yesterday, on Wednesday said goodbye to a member of our church community.
But this garden, digging our fingers into the dirt, it grounds us, gives us strength to face what comes next, allows us to think with both sadness and joy about life and death, and reminds us of the beauty in struggle. Our garden is beautiful, weeds and all.
On the day we celebrated a beautiful life, we harvested our first fruits and vegetables. Rhubarb, which I should have harvested weeks ago. Radishes, the same. I left behind fist sized radishes, too spicy to eat, ready to be turned back to compost. Jalapenos, little green fingers of heat. Raspberries, from both an old plant and a new one. And a cup or two of overripe mulberries, shaken easily from our huge mulberry tree.
Here in the garden, we take a deep breath, a moment to be overwhelmed, to be both happy and sad at the same time. And then, we go inside and make muffins.