AnonymousDeleted UserNovember 19, 2020 at 10:01 pm
When I consider “Radah”, I can’t help but think about my return to gardening this summer.
I planted a garden two years ago, but the yield was so low that I didn’t plant last year…and then a girlfriend of mind mentioned her garden and encouraged me to plant something this spring. She suggested that in the midst of this pandemic that it would be good for me to grow something.
Interestingly, the last time I gardened when I spent loads of money on soils, insecticides and every seed I could lay my hands on—though no one ever mentioned to me that I needed to give the plants plant food in order to garden.
This time, I gardened from small plants purchased from a local CSA plant sale, bought some decent plant food and fertilizer, watered, weeded…and WAITED AND WATCHED for things to grow…and my nine year old provided ample advice, assistance, joy and jokes as the spring and summer advanced.
Interestingly, my two plots were nestled under a huge, mature tree in our backyard… meaning that my plots only got a few hours of direct sunlight a day…therefore most things I planted especially tomatoes and okra (yes, we are back to okra) took longer because they needed more sunlight.
What a profound lesson in dominion—both the headiness of a few plots of my own to tend, manage, protect… and yet the vulnerability that comes by exposing oneself to the hope for cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce…Saying “hello” to the beds each time when I went out…and goodbye when my gardening session was done…. Managing the frustration of having a gorgeous old tree that blocked my garden’s sunlight and making peace with that over time…fears of pests and predators…decimated collard greens that I lamented deeply…the pride of weekly social media posts about your plots bursting with life…and the gratitude for weekly salads, a homegrown cucumber, some leafy greens grown from your own hand.
I also made sure to leave a few greens outside of my netted plots for the animals that frequented my yard…as a goodwill offering to share some of what I was growing.
Thus, my lesson of “radah” via gardening is that the garden and the gardener were more mature in the third year than in the first year. I learned that there is no shame from growing from plants and not from seed. I learned that LIKE MOST OF US: consistent feeding, water, pest protection, decent sunlight and kindness goes a long way.
I think that I was more humble with my garden this year…and felt more like a coach/friend/encourager for baby plants cheering them on to become their best, fullest, self. This year, I was less forceful with my garden, less demanding and less inclined to constantly buy new products to manage my anxiety about the lack of growth.
Finally, the experience of gardening in 2020 was indeed a kind of “radah” offering a glimpse of what God must experience tending, tugging, tussling, training, tarrying over us on a constant basis hoping that we will bear fruit that will nourish those around us.
I can’t wait to see what God manifests “radah” in me and my garden in 2021.