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In the Garden

I woke this morning early, although the sun had already beaten me, which is of course not difficult as we move towards the summer solstice. I lie for a few minutes, contemplating the day ahead. “Oh, yes.” Yesterday's heat is to be followed by today’s! My garden has suffered from my absence over the weekend; my plants are crying out for water; the dog needs to be walked before the pavement gets too hot for his paws. My morning routine that served me so well through the dark of winter and early spring has to be let go. It’s time to embrace something new.

Remembering that my spiritual director suggested I make watering my garden a spiritual practice, I slide out of bed, throw on some clothes, say a hasty, sleepy good morning to hubby and dog, and head outside. The sun is already hot; the sky brilliantly blue with a few puffy white clouds; the plants are a mingle of older deeper green and the delight of fresh spring green. I begin to water. Where better to meet with creator God than in a garden? The words “tending the holy” rise in my mind. In spiritual direction, we talk of “tending the holy” as we sit with someone in God's presence. I realize that here too I'm tending the holy… the display of who God is, as I notice the tiny green leaves appearing at the base of the bare twigs that are all that remain of last year's fuchsias, the unfurling of fern fronds, some appearing from where they have hidden in the ground all winter. So much mystery! So much wonder! Each one different, each one growing in response to the Master’s pleasure, unfolding day by day into what He planned each to be in fulness of time.

I let the hose rest on each one, bless each, and encourage each in its journey to full growth. I allow the awareness of God’s presence with me to enfold me. Living water, Jesus promised, welling up from within. I allow His love to fill me, to give me life for today. I think about the day ahead, opening my mind to the possibilities and the unexpected. What adventures does God have in mind for me today?

I wonder what is in your life today -- the mundane, the boring, the challenging? The “have-to’s”, the “should’s”. I wonder if God’s invitation to you right now is to pause and look up, allowing God’s love to fill you; to consider your day, and invite Him into each task or commitment. God has a gift for you in each. Remember how you feel when you receive a gift, carefully, often beautifully wrapped, from someone you know loves you. Remember your sense of anticipation! Then the wonder and joy when you open the gift and see it's just what you want or need! The God who loves you so deeply and who knows you better than you know yourself is always present with you, offering gifts. Will you open yourself to this invitation today? Will you receive His love and then pour it out to whoever will be part of your day? Even if it's just you? Especially if it's just you!

Wendy Dunn

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