By Trish Blomquist
“I Come to the Garden Alone” always reminds me that when we are stressed, sad, mourning, or just having a bad day God is letting us know that there is a place of solitude for us. A garden can be a spiritual retreat from a noisy world and hurried people. For me, that’s the Community Garden here at Christ the King.
The Community Garden has many facets – developing friendships, planting and watching plants grow, harvesting the produce and then giving the “fruits of your labor” to the local Food Shelf. In this way, we become “Community”. We also find that the purpose of the Community Garden is to not only grow a sense of community within but also to build relationships, connect with neighbors and provide food. When working in the garden we see God’s gifts – those to be shared with others.
Author Alfred Austin stated that “the Glory of Gardening can be defined as hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed the body and the soul.” Nurturing a Garden is also about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. In working with soil, plants and water, we learn about God’s call to be co-creators of life, beauty and joy. Watching the blossoms grow and the fruit develop knowing that it will feed someone is a gift from God. Viewing a garden can fill you with peace and happiness. For me it brings joy when looking at the green vegetation and having the opportunity to “play” in the dirt. Those who organize, volunteer in and cultivate community gardens often see grace in each shoot, pod and bloom.
In summing up God’s purpose of a community garden, we find friendship, solitude, community, grace, peace, serenity, beauty and also food for the community.
Consider joining the Community Garden crew on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 – you will be blessed with God’s gifts.
Spirit of God, you bring forth order and beauty. Bless the gardens of the world that feed both bodies and souls. Amen
Trish Blomquist-Chair, Community Garden