Tuesday, March 24, 2020

And Then It Was Spring

If you've read here long, you know I enjoy gardening. Sometimes, I enjoy the idea of gardening more than gardening itself. In March I paint mind pictures of impossibly perfect vegetables. In August, gardening is just plain hard work.

But the last two years, I've decided I needed gardening.

On the days that started by driving into the city while it was still dark and walking down long halls and sitting in small rooms talking with white-coats, I spent the evening in the midsummer dusk hacking out tall weeds. I couldn't control the monster cells in my husband's brain, but I could drip sweat and break finger nails by battling weeds. I didn't care if I ate any fruit from my garden, I just needed to be there.

Last spring, I would, with some guilt, leave Ed on his recliner to scratch at the moist earth and dribble seeds into rows. The contrast between a world awakening to springtime and my husband's body shutting down was painful, but I needed the hope of springtime to remind me that I was still alive and had children to water and nurture.

Now, a year later, our world feels shrouded in a fog. This spring, we are walking a confused path together, all over the world, each one trying to find our way on an unknown road.

But here in Pennsylvania it is spring. The bluebirds and robins don't know anything about a virus. They are gathering twigs and building nests as always. I watched two male mallards chase each other across the pasture, vying for a mate's attention or defending their territory.

The ordinariness of spring bulbs, flowering trees, and the first dandelion is strangely comforting. So much has changed. Plans are uncertain. But so much is the same.

"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee...The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me...Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:5,6,8)

I don't fear the future. I don't know what is going to happen, but after last year, when maybe the worse I could imagine did happen, I learned that with God I can survive the impossible.  I don't like inconvenience. I certainly don't like suffering. But I know that God is a whole lot bigger than my fears, and I'm willing to load my worries on Him.

And then I'll find some weeds to pull. And push a hoe through damp earth, throw in some seeds, and look for a harvest later this summer.

My prayer is that God's work in our hearts, through the softening of this storm, will bring abundant harvest.


  1. Thank you for this post. It seems the entire world is focused on this virus, but just this morning I was outside on the patio and heard the birds singing and it gave me great hope. God is here. His creation is still celebrating the arrival of spring.

  2. Thanks for sharing this post on Spring. Amidst all that is happening in the world it's so special that spring cannot be in lockdown. We have the hope of a season of growth!!

  3. Beautiful words Gina!! Continually praying for you all....

  4. I love gardening, too, most of the time. I have a feeling when I am in my garden this year, you will come to my mind a lot, and I will pray for you. -Wendy

  5. Thank you so much for your post it was much needed and very timely for me. We as a family have decided to do more gardening than usual this year. It has done well to keep us busy while at home. Today I walked by our field of Bluebonnets that God blessed us with and stopped to take in the heavenly scent. Even in the crazy times we are living, God is here.

  6. I love this. Gardening is a need for me too. The best therapy there is.

  7. I too went out into the garden to start the growing season, I looked up to that wonderfully blue sky, and heard all the bird song and what a joy to my heart it was, and all the other worries melted away. Keeping you all in prayer. Sue

  8. I have followed you for years, and find so much that my soul agrees with in your words; so much encouragement and practical help in each post. I am not good to respond online, but thought that I must today. Thank you for taking the time to share your witness through your posts. I am always drawn back to your source of strength by your praise in the middle of hard times. I find myself struggling with worry these days. My husband has cancer and we hurry up and wait as the doctor sets up a treatment plan. My daughter’s baby is due in 3 weeks, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to be a help to her with our exposure in a big city hospital to this virus. My aging mother is in the process of moving in with us, and we don’t know how to time it with the prospect of radiation treatments, continued exposure to the virus... and homeschooling that we are behind in from our daily chaos of life events this year. And the world events happening now with Covid 19... along with our family’s propensity to catch every bug that comes round and share it among us all... my fears sometimes come in waves that overtake me. I know better. I can reason my way around them when I stop and recall God’s faithfulness. And I resonate with your thoughts on the garden. I have also been encouraged by the greening grass and the sounds of spring. I know there are many things to be thankful for. I see Him moving in the hearts of people around the world, calling us back to Him, slowing us down. Anyway, I wanted you to know that your blog is being read and appreciated by this lurker.

  9. Absolutely accurate. I think the garden is where, even with all my aches and pains, the place I am the closest to God (well, of course not as close as when I'm having my God and I time). The smells, the warmth, the gentle breeze cooling me off. I just can't wait to get out there. Right now we still have a few inches of snow on the garden, but the greenhouse is going up today. We are still praying for you and your family. Thank you for sharing here.

  10. You have know idea how comforting this post has been. Our family is starting the journey your family started several years ago. My husband was just diagnosed with a GBM also. He made it home from his surgery and rehab stay as the quarantine began. I to have spent a lot of time while he sleeps out in my garden and flower beds. I just feel I need to do something normal. I need to feel the cool dirt on my hands, not sure why but this is comforting.

  11. That was a perfect post. I really feel sorry for folks who live in tiny apartments with sidewalks and roads just outside their doors. I can understand how truly closed in they are during this time out for everything else. I do feel so thankful that I have room in my house to move around in and a yard full of plants and shrubs and trees that offer me an escape from the inside and the pleasure of weeding, transplanting and digging new beds to occupy my time. Gardeners always have a sure respite in difficult times.

  12. I love the fact that you absolutely know God will take care of you no matter what. It relieves so much fear. Yes, with Spring, there is new life no matter our surroundings.

  13. Yes, I have needed my flower and vegetable gardens this year more than ever, as well as the beauty and constancy of spring. I have always laughingly said that gardening is like therapy for me, and this year I realize how true it is. My husband is an emergency physician at a local hospital, and so I garden as I pray and wait to see how all of this unfolds.


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