The days are getting longer, and much hotter. This past weekend we spent putting in all our starts into our raised beds. They did well the first day, but it got so hot, my baby lettuce is wilting. I have high hopes for the myriad of plants that are a little droopy! In Alaska, our days are so very long. Right now, it’s 75-degrees and not a cloud in sight. The sunlight today will be over 18 hours…
For new plants, that is a lot of light and heat, with an overnight low of 48-degrees. It is a rough time for those sprouting plants, but they will get the hang of it, and with that much sunshine, they grow massively fast and large.
There is a time and a season for everything under heaven: a time to be born, and time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot.Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
Our lives are a rhythm and most of us who garden can really see those rhythms in the seeds, the little sprouts, the full grown plants, the harvest, and the autumn, when we uproot what is left over. As I have aged, I feel more and more like our time is speeding up. I recall thinking summers were endless as a kid, and longing to be back into the rhythm of school. And now, I wish the seasons would slow down a little bit more.
And as I come out of an intense weekend focusing on our plants and our yard, I am forever grateful for my husband. What a workhorse he has been. Never complaining, but just doing what needed to be done. In addition, gathering downed trees from a friend’s place to ensure we have enough wood this winter. I think he has about 3-4 cords. Up here, we try to plan for the worst and enjoy any extra that may bring us. I got sunburned and mosquito-bitten. He has scratches and cuts and bruises all over from hauling downed trees and then working on our raised beds. As our next door neighbor said on Sunday afternoon, “I see this and think that’s great, but man oh man, that is a lot of work. I’ll just buy my veggies from you!” And as we get older, it is a lot of work. Right now, we are still recovering from last winter’s dump on our yard, and trying to carve out a place for this summer’s activities and growth. It’s part of that life rhythm, to be sure, but this is the hard work part.
“…a time to tear down and a time to build…”Ecclesiastes 3:5
Life is like that. We scurry around gathering knowledge and skills in order to make it in this world. We fall in love and get married. We begin families. We raise our kids. We mow lawns and go to little league games. We work and we work and we work some more. And then it sort of starts to slow down. The kids themselves begin their independent journeys and they move out and away. Letters from college. Letters from the military. Soon we are welcoming grandchildren and we wonder when this had time to happen. A friend just reminded me they had left CA where we were all friends, over 30 years ago. My word. She was in the delivery room when we had our middle son. He is married with 4 kids of his own. Time has flown by. And the cycle is continuing.
I lament that my life is in its sundown phase. It happened in the blink of an eye. I have 6 grandchildren and an empty nest. We spent Memorial Weekend in our garden… just us two. Kids off doing their thing. Simple days in the sun and dirt, quietly reigning in this acreage. Once I remind myself to ignore the sun and look at my watch, we will come inside and prepare a meal. Then we watch our TV shows and eat our dinner and climb into bed, totally spent. (Usually it’s a Gordon Ramsay show and we always discuss the contestants and some of the techniques, and even recipes! Can’t believe I have a man who enjoys it with me!!). The days are simpler, more direct, if you understand that. And still, this is an ordained pattern, a part of this rhythm.
“…a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain; a time to search and a time to give up; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to mend; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.”ecclesiastes 3: 5-8
And so as I keep an eye on my garden, and as I played with my grandchildren today, I think of these things, these rhythms, and I trust in the Lord. All time is His. My time is His. And He will be the voice I listen to, who guides me home.