We’ve had some really nice weather in the Chicago ‘burbs throughout this week and continuing today. Although I had to put in a Saturday morning at work, I got home by early afternoon and (thanks to some prodding by Ordinary Spouse) was able to get out and enjoy it.
In our back yard, we have a small garden that OS tends. There’s not much space, but I’m thankful for her efforts because the fruits of her labor add to our meals throughout the summer. My favorite staples are probably tomatoes, cucumbers (which also show up as pickles), and arugula, but we get other things depending on which seeds in the catalog caught her fancy in January. Turns out that this year we are still enjoying leeks and cilantro into mid-November.
Today, she wanted me to get the plot ready for winter (well – all except the patches of leek and cilantro) which consisted of taking down some rabbit fence, pulling some stakes, spreading some rich soil from our compost pile, and turning everything over just a bit. I grumbled a bit as I was motivating my body out the door, but once outside the weather was so nice, and the work so rewarding, that I was thankful to be there.
Thanks to an Andrew Kreider song in my head, I got to thinking about the curse of the garden in Genesis. Here are some excerpts from the song…
The soil in the garden, voluptuous and new
Bursting with promise and moist with the dew
Awakens in me the desire for you
To make me the work of your hand
We feasted that day without a care
Using spoonfuls of pepper that would singe your hair
A worm in my apple, breaking the curse
Renewing my love for the earth
“Our Souls Are Soil”
(from “Firebrands and Golden Strands)
by Andrew Kreider
Have you ever noticed in Genesis 3 that the curse is directed at the ground, and not at Adam? And how in Romans, Paul says that “creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God”? As my spade was breaking the ground, I was contemplating that line, “…breaking the curse, renewing my love for the earth”, and praying that God’s children would be a blessing to the ground.
In the chorus, Andrew’s song compares our own lives to the ground. It’s rather profound:
Oh, our souls are soil.
Won’t you turn them gently?
Our souls are soil.
Won’t you turn them again?
If God the gardener is tending to the soil of my life, I hope there are some hot peppers planted.