The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s Heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on Earth.
“God’s Garden” lines 13–16, Poems, by Dorothy Frances Gurney (London: Country Life, 1913)

Yesterday I received the news of a scholarship for Benedictine leadership training. My joy at being chosen was dampened by the thought of all those who had applied and were receiving the news they had not been chosen. And I felt the burden of it all. Would I be able to devote the time needed for this training? Would I be able to do the work? Where would this training take me? I needed to respond. Would I accept this scholarship or decline and let it be offered to someone else? I asked for some words of wisdom from a few people and then did what I do when something weighs heavy on me, I went out into the garden. As the poem above states, I feel closer to God in a garden than anywhere else on earth.

And so I finished filling in the small pots I started the previous day. In them I planted herbs and tomato plants that won’t grow very large. The pots fit into a rack which was originally a dime store display and which cost me all of $3.00 at a yard sale. My thought is that I can bring these plants indoors at the end of the season and continue to enjoy them a bit longer, with some of the herbs flourishing through the winter. The strawberries plants surrounding the rack all came from just one strawberry plant with runners. I set the pot down in that bed until I decided where to plant it. I watered it daily and when I went to move it found the runners had rooted, that was 2 years ago and look at them now.

Then I added pepper plants, eggplant and more to the kitchen garden, worked until the sun, heat and humidity convinced me to take a break. I still have a few things to get in the ground and then finish up the seed sowing.

By the time I was done with my gardening I had sorted out some of what I’d been feeling. A brother monk’s comment to me pretty mirrored my thoughts.
“… important to not let our fear of failure have more power over our faith to move
forward in our life journey…… Enjoy the blessing and gift from God through the
scholarship.” And so I accepted.

This morning I’m headed back outdoors to get a bit more done. My goal is to have it all done by Thursday. But, I think I’ll sit here in my sunroom a little bit longer with my coffee and watch the hummingbird buzzing around the feeder before I do.


A few more photos.

View from the skylight in my studio before I curtained it yesterday for the summer. While the sunlight is welcomed during the cold months, it is just too much during the warm months.

This clematis brought from my previous home 4 years ago has really struggled, nothing more than a twig.  I had some new structures made for me recently out of repurposed wood, I placed one near the clematis vine. A month later and the vine seems to love this support, it is growing wildly, now beginning to bloom.

And from the table where I’m sitting in my sunroom. In one photo are the seed packets waiting for me. In the other, the grill can be seen. I have offered bribes in the way of food to friends and family willing to come and help me scrub my large deck while we enjoy watching the 100s of kayakers participate in the RiverFest on Saturday. On the menu: fajitas in roasted red pepper shells..

Speaking of food, a resident chipmunk is sitting on the deck rail, looking this way and chattering, he wants his breakfast. Time to go out in the garden…. to be still and listen for a while…