Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

August 2, 2016

An Ode to Gardening

Grace Notes | An Ode to Gardening

Words: Amber Bartek
Photo credit: Brooke Cagle


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.”

~Alfred Austin


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 or or and follow on Instagram @cloud9photographer and @simplelivingwriter.

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Comments ( 6 )

  1. Nancy

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    I’ve been making pesto the last couples days–perfect reminder of summer and our garden on below-zero winter days. I so agree with all your sentiments.

  2. Deb Schaefer

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    I adore your words and the gentle savor message. My favorite sentence might be… “Time does not matter in nature.” Time is suspended in the midst of nature’s gifts. Beautiful post! Thank you!

  3. Amber

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Hi, Nancy!

    Thank you so much for your sweet words about my writing. Great post on your blog about your making pesto. I enjoyed reading it.

  4. Amber

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Deb,

    What a kind compliment. Thank you so much. I am so glad that my words resonated with you.

    Great website! I see that we are kindreds. I love BGC too. 😉

  5. Judy H.

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you for this post. I felt my breathing slow and my muscles relax the further I read. Gardening indeed connects memories, families and hearts. I recalled my children as little ones loving summer days spent with my in-laws in their small yellow country house with a one acre garden. How they loved picking tomatoes, beans, peas, corn and watermelons with their Gramma. Grandpa took them behind the garden in his pick-up truck where they delighted in picking summer apples, cherries and purple grapes amidst the tangled vines. I can hear them laughing and see them running towards the house with cherry stained faces and grape juice painted t-shirts. The evenings were a whisper as we all pulled up around the table and ate of the all the garden’s bounties, with some cheese or thinly sliced ham and Gramma’s bread. It was easy and peaceful. My children are now adults; both love recalling those carefree days, the crackly sound of the early morning radio, the smell of coffee and Gramma’s gentle pats on their backs encouraging them out of bed to begin the day’s harvest of food, love and memories.

  6. Amber

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Judy H – Thank you so much for your beautiful compliment. I am so glad that my words could do that for you. 😉 I love your wonderful words about your little ones in their grandparents’ garden. It’s truly the simple things that matter most.

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