Odd as it may seem, some plants are not compatible and ought not be planted together in the garden. For example, garlic and peas do not go together. The garlic does well, but the peas . . . well, they suffer. They get stunted and dwarfed. One plant might produce one pod before it succumbs to the garlic. Onions do the same thing to peas. Not a good mix in the same garden bed. On the other hand, some plants help each other. Garlic is a buddy to beets. Not only do they both have room, but their flavors are improved, too.
This makes me think about compatibility in the spiritual life. Questions arise. What might stunt my spiritual formation? What might be a buddy to my spiritual formation? Are there universal stunters and buddies? How would I know?
My inner life tends to be compatible with certain spiritual practices, but there are some that I have not tried. Could it be that there are some not yet tried that would actually improve the flavor of my spiritual formation? Are there some practices that have become rote and full of habit that they now hinder and stunt? Good questions—all.
This is the way of the garden life: a bit of reflecting on the compatibility of things.
Photo: Garlic and parsley.