August 2, 2016
An Ode to Gardening
Imagine a lush garden in your backyard teeming with growth and abundance — full of life. You grow your own fresh ear of corn you can pick right off the stalk, your children can climb up your apple trees and pick juicy, sweet apples right off the tree, and you can pull crisp cucumbers and squash right off the vine for your supper.
There is something about growing my own food and working in the garden, getting my hands deep into the earth — that makes my spirit come alive. My soul awakens when I grow the very food that will nourish me and my family.
Nothing tastes better than a home cooked meal shared with my loved ones gathered around the table as we feast on fresh vegetables, fruits, and the bountiful harvest of our garden.
There is a certain kind of everyday magic that comes with watching my child pick sugar snaps straight off the vine and crunch into them with a smile. Snacking on fresh vegetables in the garden while the sun shines down on your skin, is a wonderful simple pleasure that everyone should experience with their children.
Gardening connects you to the earth, your soul, your heart, connects you back to your food, and connects your family to one another. To put it simply — gardening connects hearts.
It is a slow, simple way of life that calls to your soul as you start tending and nurturing the earth in your garden. Soon, you will want to start growing fresh herbs on your kitchen windowsill to pick and gently toss into a pan of pasta, to flavor your eggs with fresh sprigs of rosemary, and to season your warm cup of tea with fresh lemons from your garden, and fresh mint from your windowsill. Cooking from scratch with homegrown produce, herbs, and fruits is a delicious way to savor the present moment and take it in with your five senses.
Getting outside and digging in our garden is a sweet reverie to the busy day’s siren song calling us to do more, be faster, and be busier. By growing our own food in the garden, we are given a chance to pause. Slow down. Glimpse into another perspective. You can clear your mind of the days’ worries and the never-ending to-do list as you blissfully listen to the birdsong above and slow your breathing to match the breeze all around you.
As you take a deep breath in and breathe out, you calm down to nature’s pace. Time does not matter in nature. The clock is irrelevant. The seasons, the sun and the moon, and the weather rule each day.
There is a time to sow, and a time to reap. And the harvest is a beautiful blessing. Much like life; where we sow, we reap rewards. Sow time into your family as you garden together and reap the harvest of not only delicious food, but togetherness, connection, and shared memories.
We find something so simple, so very real, and tangible about growing our own food from a tiny seed into edible plants that nourish us — body, mind, and soul.
“The glory of gardening:
Hands in the dirt,
Head in the sun,
Heart with nature.
To nurture a garden,
Is to feed not just the body,
but the soul.”
Amber Bartek is a Single Mama homesteader. She owns Cloud9 Design, where she is an artist, illustrator, writer, photographer, and teacher of soulful workshops and retreats to help you awaken your soul. She adores raising her son on their farm where they live simply, raise free range heritage breed chickens, rabbits, and pastured cattle, and tend an organic vegetable garden while savoring, adventuring, dreaming, celebrating, and cherishing the beauty in the everyday. You can read more on her blog simplelivingwriter.wordpress.com or cloud9design.wordpress.com or and follow on Instagram @cloud9photographer and @simplelivingwriter.