Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Garden Observations

This past spring, I planted a garden (at least as much of a garden as I did) specifically because Bishop Lewis asked everyone in the ward who could to do it and promised there would be blessings for doing so. I knew and accepted that there would be considerable work in planting, cultivating and harvesting. For the most part, I've kept up with all of that pretty well.

What I didn't count on, and what's got me feeling a little burned out right now, is that I've actually put in more work in giving away the excess (and not always sucessfully) than combined in the planting, cultivating and harvesting. I can't say that I'm willing to do this again next year.

I've gone all around my block begging people to take some of the fruit and vegetables from the garden. I've taken it to church and given it to the Senior Center. I've taken it to people at work. And if you go by the price at the grocery store, the value would run in the hundreds of dollars. And then what I couldn't give away has fallen on the ground and gone to waste. It could lead you to believe that people aren't as needy as the economy suggests.

And yet I don't want to become hard-hearted and cynical about it. I really want to be generous and giving. I see it as a blessing that I get to live in an amazing home on a huge lot with all kinds of fun stuff to play with. I really feel a responsibility to share those blessings with others as a way of radiating Christ's love for all mankind.

Maybe it's that tonight I'm feeling a little like I've been made a fool. A family in my ward who by all appearances seems to to qualify as "the least among you" was offered a big bag of fresh vegetables. It included green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, onions and tomatoes as all of those are ready to harvest in abundance right now. They agreed and seemed to have some excitement about it. They even promised to come help harvest... and yet no one showed. I called a second time and left a message telling them it was all ready; all they had to do was stop and pick it up and that I needed to be gone for a few minutes so I'd leave the bag out on the lawn near the driveway. When I came in for bed, I moved it up on the porch and if it's still there in the morning when I leave for work -- and I fully expect it will be -- I'm taking it to someone there who I know will use it.

Hopefully tomorrow will bring a fresh perspective and renewed hope that even this little thing is bringing some good into the world. I'm working too darned hard for it to all amount to nothing!

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