In the Garden

I love seeing posts from Facebook friends from places like the beach, a favorite restaurant or even their local Crossfit gym, declaring, “I’m in my happy place!”

This morning, when I saw that today’s Lenten-practice word was PLACE, I remembered a cross-stitched saying by Dorothy Frances Gurney that was on my grandmother’s wall when I was a young girl:

“The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.”

My happy place is in a garden. Any garden. Or, in a nursery; full of plants that will eventually make their home in someone’s garden. I love the ritual of planting — of digging just the right size of hole, loosening and, when needed, augmenting the soil, adding fertilizer, arranging the roots, filling the hole, watering in the plant, and stepping back to see the fruits of my labors.

I like to read the plant tag that tells me how large the plant will become. The photo in this blog post is from my own garden. I bought the pink and white sunpatiens in the spring, when they were very small. I could scarcely believe the plant tag when it stated that these puny starter plants would become 18 – 24″ across. With time, and water and fertilizer — Voila! these lovelies graced the stone path through my garden for nearly an entire summer.

That’s what a garden is for me — a place of possibilities.

In my view, James Taylor hit the nail on the head when he penned the lyrics to his song, Up Er Mai (named for a trek he made up a mountain in China):

“We could never have guessed

We were already blessed

There we were, where we are In the garden.”

I’m with you on that one, Mr. Taylor!

What’s your happy place?

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