By Doris Schroeder
On most Kansas evenings when it’s not raining or storming and as the sun begins to slip down into the recesses of the earth, the birds embark on their evening lullabies. The world takes on the quiet awe of descending shadows and John will say to me, “Let’s take a walk around the garden!”
Hand in hand, we examine the growing umbrage of the day and listen to the plants talk to us in their own way. There is some wisdom in what they have to say.
The cucumber vines are just beginning to make themselves known. Soon the cute little cukes will grow on the plant and try to outdo each other. Unlike we humans, it will become their lifelong dream to be “put in a pickle.” No matter what the weather, however, they will always remain “cool as a cucumber!”
The potato plants stand tall and stately, sprouting their little buds all over their greenery to signify there are little spuds underground. Potato eyes peer in the dusk, all dreaming of the day they will become the “cream of the crop!”
Tomato plants keep stretching their heads over the cans John has put around them to protect from the weather, to see what they can observe. Protected by their tin armor, they fancy the day they will be put in a stew, crushed for eating or ground up for ketchup.
“Remember how raising a garden used to be like?” I reminisce. “I know,” John agrees. “It sure was a lot different!”
When my family lived on the farm, it was my job to hoe the potatoes in a field about a half mile from the house. I can remember the scorching sun steaming down on me as I hoed down the endless row. It never seemed to end but I would finally go in when Mom called me for supper.
One year I decided it would be fun to grow some pumpkins in a field a little closer to the house. Since I was going to have a “bumper crop,” I carried buckets of water from the windmill to the patch at least twice a week. Somehow, I must have managed to do something right because I did have a bumper crop of pumpkins. My problem was, however, what do you do with a lot of pumpkins? I wasn’t old enough to drive and take them to market, we had no electricity to freeze them. Mom obliged by making pumpkin pie as often as we had time to go through the tedious process. What was our ultimate solution? We fed them to the pigs!
Of course, we raised the usual string beans, carrots, radishes and peas. Mom would send me to the garden to pick them and I would come in with a large pan of each…that is, with the exception of the peas. There is nothing in the world that tastes any better than fresh peas in the pod. Every other handful of the delicious delicacy would find their way into my mouth and it was delicious! My hubby still grows them, especially for me to eat raw. We usually give some to our daughter Judy, too, for the same reason.
“Remember the watermelon patch Ryan and I had one year?” John reminisces. Indeed I do. They spent many long, hot hours out in that farm field many years ago, getting those little seeds to grow. After getting the seeds into the ground, they had a battle with the deer and the possums who wanted to steal them at night. They put strips of cloth on sticks so they would flap in the breeze. They put a radio on at night to scare them away. After the first few nights, however, the animals thought they were having a party with free watermelon to boot!
I always marvel how one little seed can be planted and grow to be somewhere around 200 times its own weight, with its own seed that can again be planted to do the same thing.
How did this happen? By accident? It is evident there is Someone greater than you or I to be able to make such things occur. How it grows is beyond our comprehension, but the fact that it does should be enough as long as we know personally the One Who is in charge.
In the meantime we will content ourselves in watching the seeds grow, keeping down the weeds and keeping them watered. God, who can do everything will do the rest.
It’s similar to raising children, isn’t it?
Doris enjoys your comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org