Learning Lessons From Gardening in the Jungle



I went out to work in the garden this morning and I felt like one of the Ocean Spray Cranberry guys.  I put on my shorts and kicked off

Just a small part of the Great Tomato Jungle.

Just a small part of the Great Tomato Jungle.

my shoes and waded through the bog to get to the garden.  I was on a mission to get my tomato plants up out of the mud before they completely rot through.

I checked on the tomatoes a few days ago.  They were strong and healthy looking.  They came up to my knees.  Today they were chest high.  I have never seen tomato plants as big as these! Standing in the ankle-deep muck, surrounded by swarms of insects  I have never seen before in this part of the world I thought, “this must be what it’s like to garden in the Amazon.”

I’ve never been to the Amazon, so I’m not sure, but I think it’s a safe assumption.

I’m not complaining, exactly.  I mean, the abundance is great! We have half a dozen pea plants, which we completely stripped of peas just a few days ago and today Sweet Hippie Daughter picked these:

peasThere are many lessons that I have learned from my little garden.  This morning I was thinking about the wild growth that has been taking place this hot and rainy summer.

Spring was lovely. It was 70 degrees and sunny every day for weeks.  I relished the feel of the cool, soft grass under my bare feet.  Then, pretty much exactly on June 21, the wind shifted and it has been stunningly hot and humid and it has rained EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  It’s fairly miserable.  I don’t know anyone who is saying, “this is my very most favorite kind of weather! Too hot to do anything but swim and too stormy to swim safely.  Hooray!”

But the growth…  the growth is just insane!  Just a few days ago this space between my tomato garden and my fairy garden was weeded down to the dirt. Now you can’t even see the dirt!

weedsAnd isn’t that kind-of how it is in life?  You don’t really grow a lot when everything is comfortable.  It may be a good time to get established. Just like the plants in spring spend their energy adapting to being transplanted and sinking their roots into the freshly turned soil, we need some quiet, comfortable times in life just to get our bearings.  But REAL growth happens when we are under the unrelenting heat of pressure or deluged with buckets of obstacles and challenges.

There may be some damage to the plants’ leaves from this time of severe weather. There may be damage to ourselves during challenging spells.  But if roots run deep and strong, major growth and the results – the wonderful, ripe, nourishing fruits of our growth – are inevitable.

These are the thoughts I had as a fat, happy worm made his way across my muddy foot.  It was pretty cool; Not nearly as gross as it sounds, I promise.

Still, there needs to be balance – times of growth and times of rest.  Today, I got a little nervous when I noticed my neighbor’s new building project.

MV5BMTQ2NjY2ODYwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDY4NjA3._V1._SX485_SY283_I mean, I am ALL FOR growth but, seriously… maybe just a FEW days of no rain and reasonable humidity would be a good thing at this point.  Things really are getting a bit jungle-esque and I really love my home but if this swims into my garden, as happened to some farmer in the Amazon I’m going to need to move.

arapaima-gigasIf you are in a hard time and you feel like you are drowning, try hard to focus those challenges into good fruit and use your deep roots to hang on tight.  My tomatoes needed a little extra support.  It’s OK if you do too.  Call a friend.  Visit a good pastor.  Cry on someone’s shoulder. If you don’t have anyone else, e-mail me. Vent. I will listen and pray with you and try to help hold you up until the mud dries out a bit and a new time of rest cycles back around.

If you are in a time of rest, relish it.  Give thanks for your blessings and consider how you can use this time to be a blessing to others.

I’m curious. What lessons have you learned from your garden?

This post is linked up at Violet Imperfections.  Click on over to find some other great blogs to enjoy!

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4 responses »

  1. Right now I am in a time of blessed rest, and so thankful for it! But it seems that a lot of people surrounding me seem to be in that painful growth stage. My heart hurts for them, knowing the different things they’ve been going through, both the ongoing rough times and the fresh new ones that have been thrust upon them. I’ve been feeling my faith slip a little and this post reminds me it’s time to dig in while I have a little rest for myself, and get reacquainted with the One who has blessed me with it.

  2. Um … no thanks to the Amazon. LOL. It’s amazing how fast things grow and then all the sudden you are just consumed by it.

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. 🙂

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  3. I really appreciate your heart to see others find healing and support when going through rough times. Thanks for linking up to Raising Imperfection this week while I’m a co-hostess! Please come back to Mommynificent on Friday to see if you were featured.
    Have a magnificent day!

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