There is a real joy in expansion and creativity. Few things embody that as completely as growing something.

When we garden, we connect to nature and support nature’s ability to grow, and on some deep and silent level we also grow and thrive. When we garden, we connect to nature’s bounty. We enter into the process of creation, nurturing and fulfillment. Having our hands in rich soil, setting a seed to sprout, watering, tending and harvesting all combine to engage us in the circle of life.

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We might notice that our tomato is irregularly shaped or a slug has nipped off one end of our lettuce, but that only adds to the richness. We know the special taste, the special feel, the special smell of that carrot, that beet and that onion. It isn’t that it belongs to us. It’s that it becomes us on some level. We feel connected. And then we get to offer that precious gift to our friends and family in the form of a meal.

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The whole natural, creative process of life plays out in the garden. It’s a process that can be shared with our partner, our child, our friend or alone in stillness. It reflects life and life’s lessons. We have to find a way to live with insects, mollusks, droughts, floods, dirt and bees. We have to discover balance. Do we grow one tomato plant, one raised bed, or do we plant an acre of land?

We are called to make decisions; life and death decisions as far as that snail or aphid is concerned. It is teaching us what values we hold and what we teach our children. Who knew growing a tomato plant held so much promise, so many discoveries, such enormous possibilities?

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