Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tending The Garden

Gardens are being gleaned for their final fruits, and jarring and canning is in process. We are doing the fall work to prepare for Winter. There is a lot of fruit to be tended to at this time of year.

If you garden at all (which I mostly do by using my supervision skills); you know that there is a method you have to follow if you intend to continuously reap from the land. In the fall, when the garden has given all of her fruit, it is time to prepare for the winter ahead.

My mom is a good gardener. Competitive, some might even say. She begins to take the steps necessary to make sure this earth can bear good fruit again next Summer. The very final step she takes is in covering the prepared earth with the beautiful fall leaves. When the snow comes, it falls atop the leaves, which have been naturally composted by the rain and weather of the fall.

The weather is fighting to change into full blown fall/winter here, with trees shedding beautifully hued orange, red and brown leaves into piles on days when the sun beats down 70 degree rays. Home of a Big Ten college campus, radios, televisions, retailers and fans all turn their attention to football - high school, college and national. Sweaters are changing into heavier jackets, tailgating is on tap, and area farms are touting pumpkins and apples,hayrides and hot cider.

This is a family time of year, so naturally, I think of my family as it is now and as it was. When you have been divorced, separated, or otherwise ended a life altering relationship, you should look at the seasons of that puppy, and check on what kind of fruit it produced, and why. Though hindsight is always perfect, it also allows for reflection to fine tune for the future.

The beginning of the relationship is like Spring - everything is pretty, new and fascinating. The earth, showing off the most beautiful and vivid colors God has created. Showing each other our richest jewels - what we have to offer at our first love.

Summer time is when seeds planted start to give up their first fruit. Some of them bloom and produce beautiful fruit; some wild, racing vines and flowers, and still others never bloom, or become entangled by weeds. We begin to know each other in our intimate or inner selves; finding out there are some wonderful gifts, some hidden dreams and talents, something wild and yet untamed, and yes, some bondage and trouble spots. We start to know how we compliment each other and encourage the greatness in each other, and others start to recognize what the combination of our gifts produces.

Fall brings a calming change in the weather. Brightly colored fruits of Spring begin to fade and fall away, leaving bareness, nakedness. Roots are revealed as the origin of the different good or bad items in the garden. A good gardener starts to rake away some of the roughage. If we plan just right, we can turn this roughage into a compost that will invigorate growth. This is a time that encourages slumber, when work is necessary. One of the most important seasons. If we slumber through this season, Winter will not be kind to our garden, or to our relationships.

I don't deign to tell you how to tend to your relationship; just that as an acquaintance of mine suggested recently, if you want to know what the good stuff of it i is look at the Spring and the Summer. If you want to affect what will yield in those times, take that knowledge and prepare during Fall for the Winter, A good gardener progressively cultivates the garden, and employs key ground preparation at the pivotal times.

Take some time to look at what the fruit was or is from your intimate relationships, both good and bad. If there is something that you can do better, more often, or stop doing to cause it to change in a way that bears more good fruit, better quality fruit, or relationship sustaining fruit- shouldn't you do that? Even your relationship with God can surely use some pruning. I am looking at my garden now.


Here are some thoughts to ponder and a place to start:

What season do you think your relationship with _______ is in currently?

What steps do need to take to cultivate the relationship in this season?

Write it out, make it plain, and get busy.

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