Many people we encounter in the garden immediately confess they do not have a green thumb. As if saying, “Let’s get it out of the way now and make it clear, I cannot grow things and don’t belong here”. But interestingly, they linger, they talk about how their friends can grow things, how they love gardens and fresh food. They tell stories from their past about their grandparents. Their eyes brighten and their bodies rest. Even if we don’t think we have a “green thumb”, we are all called to gardens, to trees, to seeds. These wild spaces are where life began. These life-giving growing areas call out to us. Once they step into a garden, they softly began to realize, everybody belongs.
I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “green thumb” or a “brown thumb” for that matter. There are people that make space and time to pay attention, at home, in the kitchen, at work, and also in the garden. Growing things takes daily attention. We can all plant and water and if tending is careful and conditions are right, God will give growth. All gardeners, have had failures, I’m certain. The difference is, they know that everything is “figureoutable” and that is where the challenge and marvel begins.
As growers of life, we rest patiently in our failures knowing they do not label the color out our thumbs. We watch, evaluate and sometimes grieve the loss of those juicy plums to the pesky squirrels. And when squirrels or bunnies invade, we’ve been known to stomp a foot, grab a shovel and set off on a chase. Of course, the quick critter wins this tactic, but the act of stomping and chasing does help some. Once we catch our breath, we continue on, straightening up while mindfully formulating an improved plan.
As gardeners, we pay attention, bit by bit, day by day, we walk the land and touch the soil. We can all do this, and how good for the body and soul to be greeted by simple life, early in the morning, every day! The garden calls to all people, it brings out that childlike awe and keen attention to detail. It tests our resiliency and our commitment. We all have these deep soul level callings, and gardens welcome us back to beautiful thin spaces.