Column – Gardening has benefits, connects people with nature
Posted 8:48 PM on Friday, September 2, 2022
By Myrtle Thompson
These days when so many things need a chip to work properly, there’s one thing you don’t need. This is the courtyard garden.
Voting for a chip is overwhelmingly yes for almost everything, but it can’t replace satisfaction with our accomplishments in the “hands-on” work needed to grow things. Nothing can replace the experience and pleasure of having beautiful flowers or ripe tomatoes and cucumbers for a summer treat.
For this and many other reasons, I am an advocate for gardening, even in small areas. This is where the owners or owners themselves become the “chip” that does the necessary work. They have the opportunity to become creative, to teach children values they cannot otherwise learn, and they may even find that good neighborliness is a better way of life. Seeing the end result will undoubtedly be satisfied.
The values of gardening are endless. It is a way to increase our sensitivity to what is happening around us, to sight, smell and sound. Any unkept front or back space can be revitalized into something beautiful or valuable, showcasing flowers or vegetables or both.
The beginner does not need many expensive tools. A shovel and a hoe or rake are the main essentials. Besides that, two hands, a willingness to get dirty, maybe put up with sore muscles that needed exercise, and a love for God’s creation are enough for the beginner.
A good comparison might be like the good old days when the three Rs were the first to be mastered. We learned more, and more was needed as we grew in our understanding.
The rewards of gardening are fresh air, outdoor exercise, a glimpse of God’s creation, and the fun and joy of being our own CEO. I hope that a younger generation will not let fulfillment in gardening fail, even when it fails, as sometimes happens due to weather or other reasons. Some of our best life lessons are learned when we relive what happened that caused our problems.
All of this is not to say that microchips aren’t a valuable asset to our lives. They provide a way to communicate and make our lives easier even though they sometimes fail. Recently, a neighbor couldn’t get into his garage. The chip it depended on to open it didn’t work. He needed help – a new unused battery. I was outside, saw what was happening and had a new set of batteries to offer, which solved the problem.
Neighbors need each other like gardens need people, not so much to make our lives easier, but to make them more beautiful. Serenity in the garden — the quiet life without anger or threats is a powerful aid to our emotional life. Being outside in the garden we have created, seeing life take on a whole new view and meaning is sure to bring a sense of satisfaction.
I like to say, “I found God in the garden, not in the garden of Eden, but in my own garden. It was there that I saw how the great creator God taught certain lessons.
The little bee is an example. He knows where to look for nectar and what to do with it. All we know is how to extract it and enjoy it.
When some striped worms ate my parsley and disappeared, I thought maybe they were dead. Instead, I found a chrysalis from which a butterfly emerged, a lesson in death and resurrection. See Jesus’ words in John 11:25. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.”
God has given us the privilege of seeing some of his creative powers as they were when he first created Eden. A fraction of this beauty can still be found in a garden. Happy gardening everyone!
Myrtle V. Thompson, 94, is a Bible teacher, educator, writer and author of “Living in Villages” and “Visiting in Palaces” which are available on Amazon.com. Look for his new book on gardening experiments this fall.