Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. May Sarton
I had the gift today of spending time in the garden. Hours actually, pulling weeds, pruning shrubs and planting seed. The dogs were nearby, savoring the warm fall day, the gentle breeze, and the fact that I was home. Our newest rescue basset, seven year-old Angus, my shadow I call him, was my constant.
I was in heaven moving rock, digging soil and contemplating my next move. Every once in awhile I would look over my shoulder or to my side to see if Angus was still with me. He was. The garden is a living canvas so I am never bored. Lessons abound at every juncture about life’s cycles, the brilliance of nature’s variety, and other landscape reminders of the blessings of time and perseverance.
Patience comes to mind. Despite my proclivity for instant gratification, I have to remind myself that what lies in front of me is the work of several years. I feel like I just started. I dabble in the thought that more money and time might give me just the result I seek, but I think again when I delve into the satisfaction I often feel knowing I participated in every step of this garden’s creation. Years of moving from place to place stop me also. There is beauty in taking time to build something over years. Would I be blessed as an old lady to look back on her canvas? And, will it reflect a life well lived? I hope so.
Time as we know it is man-made. There are no promises exactly when we will realize the outcome for which we strive for so long. Often the result we think is necessary is just a chuckle to God, or whatever you term the nature of that which makes this all possible. We think we know what should happen. Something else has a better idea.
Patience is the quality that enables us to embrace the outcome even if we don’t see it right in front of us. It reminds us to pause and let our senses see around us. Gardening then becomes like an active prayer whereby we put one foot in front of the other and do the tasks in front of us. Sometimes we even listen to the inspiration that seeks our attention. Soon enough the rose blooms and the plum tree struts its fruit, and a crow cries and the dove sounds its morning call for its mate. Grace emanates in our discovery that the end result we seek is less important than how we bide our time getting there.