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Home Grown, Heart Grown

http://holleygerth.com
I'm joining with Holley Gerth's Wednesday link up.  I typed this up before I looked at the title.  I guess my topic of gardens fits.

my girls enjoying the beauty of someone else's lily garden 

Home Grown, Heart Grown.

I remember when I was a brand new expectant mama to be I bought a few items.  One of which was a baby onesie that said, "Home Grown".  I laugh at that now because my home grown, womb grown babies are the only thing that I've been successful at growing.  My sturdy hibiscus plants once a year and some resilient summer annuals manage to make it here.  But not because of me, I'd rather say in spite of me.
There was one summer when I had a baby on my hip that I would try to water six feather tipped green cyprus like trees.  I'd march off the deck with a blue pail of water in hand, trying to avoid most of it not sloshing out before I got to the base of those new green trees.  That balancing act did not happen nearly as much as it should.  As I was trying to watch a two year old too.
At the end of that summer all six of those trees had to be uprooted and were dust dead.
Now, my husband claimed that there was something wrong with them.  And i nodded my head in agreement ( i had never killed six trees before.  it did rain quite a bit) but inside I couldn't get around the intuition that maybe I was the main villain here.
Its funny that I'm not good at gardening.  Its rich as black earth in my DNA.  The few things that my mom and grandma share happens to be an ability to make any almost dead plant on the verge of heaving its last earthly breath on LOWE's death - bed shelf and making it breathe again resurrecting into beauty for years to come.  My grand parents made their whole living and most of their food from the fields surrounding their homes and my mother always filled all the borders of the family yards with flowers of every kind.  She always knows the un scientific names too.  "There's grandma's knitting needles." She pointed to those dainty lace like flowers towering baby pink and lavender over the garden.
I remember her planning out the gardens, digging up the dirt with a pick axe, and then going to a rock quarry and loading up her Oldsmobile with rocks to edge the garden (classy). There's nothing like a Baby blue Oldsmobile with rocks spilling out of the trunk and a fiery chestnut haired woman from North Carolina.  I wouldn't mess with her.
Everything this woman sprinkled by seed, replanted from someone else called 'transplanting', or submerged bulb style deep in the earth always grew.
She would even find sprigs of a tree and re- plant them and years later these tiny twigs that we would trip over running through the lawn would become flowering mimosa trees or silver maples.
Okay so back to me.
I don't possess this trait and I'm chalking it up to the fact that I simply do not have time to invest in this. I'm helping kids grow in mind, body (making 3 girls eat adequately is meal time chore), and keeping everyone alive.  Hence I do not find pruning hydrangea and fertilizing roses a priority.
I've resigned myself to this fact and every year when my husband feels our yard needs some splashes of summer color he goes and picks out the flowers and then plants them.  I used to be a little hurt by it, but now I let him because I know he really enjoys it.
I'm a dreamer like my dad and one dream i've had ever since I've been a SAHM is that somehow I'd have a mini vegetable patch.  I can just picture me now pulling out bunches of basil and confetti chopping it in with my cherry tomatoes that I picked from my own back yard.  Well it hasn't happened yet.  From me at least; however, our counters have spilled fresh produce.
This summer we have received bags laden with fresh vegetables because my husband took a position at a church deep in the picturesque country of Southwest Virginia.
He has come home with an army of green beans fresh picked from someone's hands.
Some of the produce has just been dropped off at the church and I have no idea who to thank for it.  I just know that it showed up from their dirt to our table.
There have been bags spilling home grown tomatoes whose scarlet juice bursts beautiful red when I eat one with my breakfast. Those slices of sweet summer find themselves in-between the bread of my husband's tomato sandwich hold over snacks.  There have been squash filled with nature's barnacles, bumpy and not at all what you might find at the grocery store; however, still just as good.  There's even been a lemon cucumber that we were unfamiliar with, but decided was quite yummy.  Spring onions found there way to the refrigerator and lots of garden green cucumbers.

All of this harvest came to us, from the work, the sweat, and the love of others.
And honestly most of the time I don't know from whence it came.

I divided up the army of green beans four ways.  I filled bags for my in-laws, I gave them to my neighbor and she confessed to me that it was her first time ever snapping and then simmering the beans with I think it was a hambone submerged to give it that smoky flavor point, and I also gave a large bag to my own mother.  I called her one evening and she was sitting on her porch snapping all the beans with dirt and grit highlighting the palms of her hands.
So many mouths ate from those beans that someone grew out of their garden. I smiled when I thought, "If only they knew how many people they don't know are enjoying these vegetables."
This made me think about the harvest of our own lives and all those life seeds we plant and don't really even think about.
We plant and sometimes tend to seeds of love, seeds of listening, seeds of our stories, seeds of compassion, and seeds of encouragement, seeds of generosity but many times we never see on whose tables the matured seeds reach.  We just don't know.
We invest and then God gets them where they need to go.
We also never realize many times how the bad seeds we sow, the negative words we say thoughtlessly take root in others and bloom perspectives that we have no idea originated with us.
We sow our life every day and our life does yield a harvest.  And that harvest ends up on the plates and in the hearts of others.
I guess that's good news for me who can't redeem a plant.  I've been enjoying all the tomatoes that I didn't grow.  There's no pride in my own for now, but gratitude for the work of others.  I can grow life seeds though by nurturing the dreams of others, affirming the God given gifts of others, and planting positive words in the minds of my kids.
The heart really is home grown.
This Sunday I weaved my way out of the maze of kids pouring out of Sunday school rooms and passed my middle girl's sunday school teacher.  She smiled brightly at me and said, "There's a basket of cucumbers by the door. Take some home please."  That my friends is one of the perks of going to church with farming roots.  I smiled big and said, "Thank you."  Sometimes you have to know what you are good at and for now I will happily enjoy the great farm work of others and find my own way to sow seeds of blessing.

Comments

  1. Somer,
    We both wrote about our grandmothers on our blogs today! :) But I love how you watched your grandmother nurture plants and wish you had her gifts, yet you recognize that you do the same things she did, only in your own unique, God-given way! Beautiful!

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  2. Valerie I loved reading about your grandmothers. I honestly don't know much about mine from first hand experience. I just would see her a handful of times a year, but i do know that about her and i see it mirrored in my own mom. Yes, I am okay with not possessing that ability. We all have our own ways to make the world beautiful and you certainly do with all of your design and cooking now ;)

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