The peonies are so sweet the ants cannot resist them. When I cup their faces and snip some blossoms for the table, I have to gently shake out the occupants. And still, when I place the stems in crystal water and lean in to breathe their perfume—I notice two errant passengers frantically searching for an escape route.
This week I’ve been harvesting lettuce and kale. I stand for long moments at the sink, rinsing the leafy greens, humming while my hands turn pink in cold water. Thank God for that salad spinner my friend Mel gifted me with two growing seasons ago. I finally put my tomatoes and peppers in, nestled them beside cucumbers and pole beans. It took the better part of Monday afternoon when I should have been doing other things … working with words, fleshing out a sermon.
I’ve said it before, how God speaks tome in the midst of these growing things. And somehow, the waiting and the tending and the expectation of the harvest create in me an emptiness that fills. I dip my fingers into the earth I am made from and I feel the kinship of it all, how I am just a small part of a big plan. That latin word “humus” that means “earth”—it’s where the word “human” comes from—and also, “humility” and when I am working the garden it all makes perfect sense.