This farming season began in late January with Mason jars, soil, a sunny spot in the den, and hope. By mid spring, plants warmed their toes in my newly cultivated soil, and the first of the early vegetables graced our table. I’ll admit, I was giddy with pleasure when the Japanese beetles and locusts forgot to stop by on their travels. By June, I could hardly contain myself as tomato plants needed extra reinforcement for height, and pumpkin seeds sprouted into lengthy vines.
Then the rains came. And came. And came.
Bees took shelter in their hives, and blossoms wilted on the vines. Blight erupted on the lower leaves of tomato plants and began creeping its way upward. I almost dreaded driving up to our house in the evenings as all the promise and hard work seemed to be washed away, literally and figuratively, by weeks of watery weather.
The first partially sunny Saturday in July, I exclaimed to my daughter, “I will be outside mending and tending for as long as it takes!” I threw on my gardening gear and ran outside to survey the damage. With hands on hips, I peered out over the four main beds, and my heart sank. Yes, the rain had nourished the plants, but without adequate sun, they also hadn’t been able to bloom and grow as anticipated.
After hours of weed pulling, vine trimming, and a little praying, I sat in the driveway. In the midst of what had been a busy time in my life, I was reminded of the importance of Balance. She’s a delicate thing, that Balance. Too much or too little of what we need physically, emotionally, or spiritually, and She leaves us for a bit as if to gently remind us that she requires intentional nurturing, just like the plants in my gardens.
I reflected on how my life had been the last few weeks. Plenty of hard work, not enough rest. A lot of focus professionally, but not enough spiritually. I too needed to reconnect with Balance, and what I realized was that, unlike my vegetables, I had a choice.
While my little farm is at the mercy of sun, rain, and blight which no tool can repair, I do have the tools needed to take care of myself and restore Balance in my life.
And so, by the end of the day, I had salvaged what I could among the bushes and vines and plucked a few fresh veggies as well. As I headed up the steps to the kitchen, I realized that a day out on the farm was what I had been missing. As for Balance, she greeted me at the back door and welcomed me in for lunch.