Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Garden of Childhood

We really sprung into spring quickly here on Long Island. I hate to be indoors on a beautiful day. So I have been shirking my housekeeping duties in favor of more the tangible and rewarding delights of planting flowers, seeds, and bulbs.

I know it may be a little early for some of the seeds, but I hope they will survive. I do this every year, and I am lucky if a quarter of them make it. I think of the parable of the sower and the seeds. When I was a child, I thought: Was it not foolish of the sower not to properly prepare the ground before sowing his seeds?

Yet I am like that sower. Not caring to test the soil, I rake in my seeds, water, and hope for the best. A few weeks into the season, I grow lazy and neglect to weed and water. And I wonder why I even bothered, yet another season.

But then something beautiful comes up, or we bear a few delicious baby carrots, maybe a serving’s worth, as a reward for all of our hard work. And we vow to try again next year.

I think parenting takes many of the same virtues as the gardener. If we waited until we had the perfectly ideal environment (enough money, patience, etc.) we would never bear children. We deal with what resources we have, put in all our effort and energy, say our prayers, and hope for the best. Some disappointments along the way are inevitable, but we are bound to be happy we started the project.

“But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Mathhew 13:8-9

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