405. As the garden grows, so does the gardener. ~Nora Jarbou

Where you have a plot of land,
however small, plant a garden.
Staying close to the soil is good for the soul.
~Spencer W. Kimball


On a lesser scale what John O’Donohue said of the farmer that was quoted in my last post could also be said of a gardener. It may not have been fields that I chose to cut and create, but the labor to put flower beds around this piece of land was equally tough and punishing. The soil here is heavy clay laid over bedrock that in some places is a foot or less below the surface. That and the fact that bamboo and its extremely hard to dig up rhizomes were consuming the back of the lot may have been the reason only a few trees, the grass, and one small flower bed were here when we bought the place. Whatever the reason for the lack of little else I had to do a lot of digging, cutting, uprooting, and amending the soil to create the many “clearances” where I now plant and sow. And like the farmer’s fields, each bed has become a presence in my life, a unique and sacred presence that has not only tempered my heart and greened my thought but has also brought me back into the Lord’s keeping. The earth and its wildlife indeed seem now to trust the intention of my hands, and what has happened over the years in my “fields” has changed my heart and spirit for both had grown cold and hard and dark from living so long away from earth’s engaging and compelling ways.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. . . ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

8 thoughts on “405. As the garden grows, so does the gardener. ~Nora Jarbou

  1. This just touched my heart! I have so many hopes regarding what I might plant in seasons to come. The past couple of years I haven’t been able to make any additions, but just take care of what I have. My back yard has challenges, too. I have very tall oak trees and sweet gum trees (5 or6 altogether), and a large portion becomes a small lake that can take several days to dry up. I cant afford to have that changed, so I have been experimenting over the years with shrubs that can survive those conditions. Believe it or not, I have a rose of Sharon that is happy out there. 🙂

    I really identified with this:

    “and what has happened over the years in my “fields” has changed my heart and spirit for both had grown cold and hard and dark from living so long away from earth’s engaging and compelling ways.”

    You have such a wonderful blog!



    • Thank you, Theresa, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and that it touched your heart. That’s what I aim at in my posts. I love Rose of Sharon and have several here too. Thank you for the lovely compliment about my blog. It means a lot to me.
      The lines you identified with refer to the middle part of my life, Theresa. Regrettably my faith journey was derailed in the aftermath of my father’s death when I was 18. I turned my back on the Lord for a couple of decades until a mentor led me back into His keeping. During those years I was away from Him I faced some very difficult times and was beginning to become very cynical. Hope and joy were elusive and my heart was indeed growing very cold and hard in the darkness of those days. But the Lord never let me go and finally reached through my cynicism to capture my heart again. And I am so very thankful!!! Love, Natalie 🙂


      • It makes me sad that such a sensitive, and thoughtful person such as yourself had to endure such a long season of unhappiness. I am so glad the Lord captured you and gave you this precious gift, spiritual eyes that are able to Him and His spender in creation, and in turn express it using both words from works of poetry, and your own beautiful words. I struggle with anxiety and depression, and am in a chapter where my days and nights are easily mixed up. Reading here is like medicine for me.

        Love and hugs,


      • I’m sad to hear that you are struggling currently. I pray that the anxiety and depression end soon and that the Lord restores complete health and wholeness to you, sweet Theresa! Hugs and blessings, Natalie


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