I don’t know why I did not plant many flowers in the garden this year, but a few weeks ago I was still able to put together a nice arrangement with some weeds, corn tassels, basil that was blooming and……green beans still hanging from their vines!
This year I am gardening with two other people who wanted to give John Jeavon’s Biointensive Gardening a try. One of the main ideas is that you start EVERYTHING from seed in flats, even corn, beans and peas. These are some marigolds I started quite a while ago. It really has made gardening a brand new experience for me. I’ve tried to start things from seed before and failed miserably. It’s going better this year due in large part to the grow light Steven put together for me, but I also have a very different attitude about it. In the past, I’ve always bonded with each little seed and plant, WANTING it to thrive, but you know, nature just isn’t like that. And the spiritual lesson for me has been: maybe God isn’t like that either. Most plants produce an abundance of seed and you wouldn’t want it all to survive. I get upset at myself for each little failure, sometimes making it monumental. But this week I’ve realized, I need to make lots of efforts, and only some of them will go on to grow and produce fruit, and that is just the way nature is. And God, the Master Gardener, knows that and has planned it that way.
In my mind at least, the perfect lilacs this year were over on Mortenson Road, not far from the intersection with University Boulevard. Lilacs always make me think of my mom. I was born when mom was 40, so unfortunately, I will always think of my mom as old (I know, 40 is NOT that old!). Most lilac bushes are old too, standing the test of time, you don’t fully understand where they came from or what they’ve been through, but you love their beautiful profusion, the intoxicating fragrance, their simplicity. My mom came from a simple background, she and her sister and her mom making it on their own by housekeeping and living with relatives. They enjoyed simple things, creamed vegetables on toast for supper, sprucing up a little black dress with a variety of collars and cuffs, going swimming in the rock quarry and singing duets. I don’t know where all the lilacs in Ames have come from, but I love their reminders that the best things in life don’t have to be complicated and expensive and that my mom was able to create a beautiful life in the same spirit.
It was a wonderful Sunday morning meeting today…one of those days where you just love every little teeny tiny detail of everything!
Having had a lot of stress in my past, I’ve learned to make little safe places to retreat to in my mind when the stress gets too heavy. Most people call it day dreaming I guess.
One of my favorite visualizations is to picture going to our yearly convention on an Iowa farm. The upstairs of the barn is turned into a slumber party of sorts for women! I’m not exactly sure what the men’s quarters looks like! This last August, I slept next to the slanty wall and loved propping my legs up against it to relax between meetings.
It was a little hard to do a proper bed making here though!
Mostly we spend four days hearing spirit inspired messages from the Bible, but we also eat our meals together and sleep either in transformed barns, tents or campers. I love the way rustic becomes comfortable, and how everyone fits and works together and reliving it all in my mind the rest of the year is such a pleasant retreat!
I took this photo when I worked at Reiman Gardens. Feeling very Georgia O’Keeffe today!