For half the summers of my life I spent the majority of my time in an open field, planting, picking weeds, and harvesting oh so many vegetables which we than sold at a road side stand at a local family owned farm. My hands would always be stained a deep purple/red from harvesting beets or would hold a lingering smell from picking onions or garlic. My nails would be lined with dirt for a good 6 months as I lived close to the earth and in the rhythms of planting and harvesting.
It has been a bit of a shift to now living on the 7th floor of an apartment building minutes away from two major highways in one of the largest cities in Toronto. But this does not keep me from getting my hands dirty or finding ways to remain close to the rhythms of planting and harvesting.
A month ago I started up some seedlings inside in the corner of our living room, green onions, tomatoes, basil and parsley. Today we finally reached a high of 24C and so I brought them out on to the balcony for the first time to expose them to some real sunlight.
It is good for us to remember where our food comes from. To experience the planting of a seed, watching it grow, recognizing the rain/or water from the tap that sustains its life. To watch it slowly grow strong to the stage of budding and producing fruit all the way to the point of harvesting. It is a long slow process, one that requires much patience and diligence unlike picking the best out of a large selection at any local grocery store.
Being a part of the process of growth and life escorts us into a world of thoughtfulness. Of understanding and appreciation for or food as well as seasons, weather cycles, climate and all the many ways God has so flawlessly designed our world.
Further than this though it brings us into a deeper understanding of the need for something to die first in order to grow, spring new life and be able to produce by living. It is in the simple acts of watering my plants to sustain their live, I am reminded of the Creator and Sustainer of my very breath.
The beautiful parallel between such an earthly task and a heavenly phenomenon ushers us close to be able to feel it with our hands as we plant seeds, to see it with our eyes as it begins to press through the earth to the place where we taste and smell and experience.