Gardening has been a passion for decades, it brings me such joy. Rightly, and apparently scientifically so, as the ubiquitous ‘they’ now tell us that, if we mess about in the earth, are in actual contact with it, friendly bacteria in the soil produce serotonin in us- hence my silly grin while I putter about in the dirt. I haven’t run in to many miserable gardeners so I’ll accept that without a lot of fact checking.

Spring is a huge rush for me. It’s too early to herald its arrival from the roof tops but slender shoots are emerging as the sun warms the flower beds, the days are lengthening and the heady scent of softening earth refreshes my winter weary spirit. To quote Kenneth Grahame from the Wind in the Willows, “Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.” And now, to misquote him just slightly, ” Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats dirt.” (I’d be disgusted if someone did that to my writing but I believe Mr. Grahame is past caring.)

One day last week was mild enough to warrant a few hours outside sifting compost, top soil and peat moss together to make a seed starting mixture and allow me to start a flat of leeks and early onions which are already springing up. Leek soup is one of the grands’ favorites and this year we shall grow our own leeks. Fun.

One of the ways I survive the cold, dark winter is watching gardening videos and preparing for spring. What a feast the internet is! Luke at is a particular favorite. Like me, he gardens in Zone 5, so I can know what and when to plant, plus he is an amazing teacher. There are dozens of instructional videos on his Youtube channel and he sells seeds online – dirt cheap.

I was reading Colossians 2 this morning and relishing the phrase…”Let your roots go down deep into Christ…” That image delights me. I visualize my roots seeking out nourishment and water, gradually growing, millimeter by millimeter undeterred by the crumbly, rocky soil, determined to find life. Hydrotropism at work. A combination of faith, hope and perseverence.

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