Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Harvest Undeserved

Today's harvest

Beginning last April, I maintained a vegetable garden. I spent time throughout the summer weeding, watering, and fertilizing. With abundant daily harvests, I froze some of the bounty and gave some away, yet still had enough to preserve jars of pickles, jalapenos, and salsa.

The pleasure was not only in the harvest, but also in the tending. Hours might pass while I pruned tomato plants or spaded in more compost. Pulling out deep-rooted, pernicious Bermuda grass was especially satisfying. 

About mid August my work schedule stepped up, and evenings as well as days were consumed with interviews and reports. Garden maintenance suffered. High winds knocked down the 5’ tomato cages, and I couldn’t replant them properly. So by late September, the garden was not only weed-ridden, but the once-tall tomato plants were twisted askew with unpruned tomato stems and shoots growing through the wire cages at all angles. It was depressing. I quit spending time on it entirely and simply went out to harvest every week. Or two. Or three.

Today the garden caught my eye. I examined the tomato vines, an inseparable, crazy tangle, and spied ripe tomatoes and numerous blooms. I looked at the parsley, basil, thyme, and rosemary. Is it possible these plants reseeded and matured again? For there, undaunted by the crowding Bermuda, grew healthy herbs. Parting the weeds, I saw red and green jalapenos and sweet peppers cheerfully hanging from sturdy stems, as if I’d been taking care of them all along.

In spite of my lack of attention, my good plants have carried on. As I harvested peppers and tomatoes, I felt grateful to a God who continues to be good to me even if I am neglectful; and who continues to bless, even though I am undeserving.