For two weeks my garden has been tended by others because I was away. Not good when it comes to gardening. One of the tend-ers watered, but I failed to tell her to not water the drying garlic. Ooops. The other tend-er stopped picking the harvest after the first week. Bad news. Neither tend-er was to weed or clear or tie up or pick off slugs. Just the basic tending. It is amazing what can happen with only two weeks of basic tending.
The zucchini plant produced a three-foot club-shaped fruit. The yellow squash wasn’t any better. Their yellow skins may as well have been gourds. The oversized cucumbers . . . mostly seeds. The spinach was tall and threatening to flower along with the lettuce. The snow peas were no longer flat. The winter squash was spreading into the pepper area and showing signs of powdery mildew. You get the picture.
This minimal tending of a garden is sufficient for short periods of time, but had I been gone longer. It would have been unmanageable. Some plants would have stopped producing altogether. Some would have prevented entry into other parts of the garden. And in some of the beds, I would have had to yank out everything and wait for the fall planting. As it is, two days of pulling, cutting, trimming, tying, and digging has just about got it under control. Another day or two and I will able to call it good.
As I tend to the needs of the garden, I am reminded that the untended spiritual life can become overgrown. Even minimal tending generates problems. I have to ask “How does my untending make me unproductive?” “How does my untending produce a useless product?” “How does my untending prevent the spirit’s access into other areas of my life?” “How much time does God have to spend pulling, cutting, trimming, and digging to rid my life of weeds, disease, and overgrown stuff?”
This is the way of the garden life: diligently attending to what is growing at the moment.
Photo: Squash plants