I loved watching the gardening programme on TV, Gardeners World, with Alan Titchmarsh. He introduced us to the beauty and peace of gardening even if one didn’t have a garden of their own or were too busy with other work at hand, which for me was raising children.
Last summer after we moved house I was up early and out into the sunshine. It was the beginning of a new season for my husband and myself. We had left behind a big house and a big garden with mature trees. We didn’t need the big house any more. Our children had left home. It was goodbye to my herb garden and Magnolia tree we had planted years before.
We brought all our potted plants with us, plants that Brendan and I had collected over many years. It was always a surprise to see each spring what would erupt from each pot. We had forgotten what was in each one. Those early morning, quiet moments inspired me to give some attention to the life springing up in the pots. There was need for some care. I watered, weeded, uprooted, divided, replanted and pruned as necessary. I got my hands dirty repotting some that were pot bound.
Those early mornings in the sunshine was doing me good. I was experiencing healing in my mind after all the trauma of suffering from cancer. As Psalm 23 says, “My soul was being restored.” I was not lying awake worrying, or nursing some grudge, or feeling depressed and not wanting to get out of bed. When I awoke I got up. The dawn chorus greeted me. I looked up and saw aeroplanes on their way from North America to some destination in the east, perhaps London. I marvelled how God looks after all of creation. He does not slumber. I was up early to meet him in my garden.
I was not surprised when I came across this article on the internet about “How dirt makes you happy,” by Bonnie L Grant. I quote,
“Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of your serious blues. Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain and are without side effects and chemical dependency potential. Learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in soil and make yourself happier and healthier. Read on to see how dirt makes you happy.
Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress.”
I agree. I have found that working in my garden has brought me healing.
Our ancestors Adam and Eve’s home was a garden. All the work they had to do was tend the garden and eat its fruit.
This year I am working in my garden. I am getting the healing benefits of breathing in the fresh air and other good things released from the earth to help my immune system and calm my nervous system. I get to enjoy the gentle wet rain on my face, or the warm sunshine on my back. I enjoy the exercise of watering and weeding. I am tired at the end of the day and I am ready for sleep. I get the benefits as well of fresh lettuce and herbs to brighten up my meals. In the spring I planted all kinds of lettuce, celery, cabbage and many herbs in my raised beds. I am using bio friendly sea weed that I collect from the beach as a fertiliser. My vegetables are flourishing.
I was reading a book recently. The author was recounting how her parents had a stormy relationship. Her mother died at fifty three of cancer and never lived to see the author’s success in life. The writer had a dream about her mother. In the dream her mother was happy tending her garden that was filled with all kinds of beautiful flowers and plants. The dream was showing her that her mother is in happy place where there is beauty and peace, heaven.
I know there is a heaven, but God doesn’t want me to go there yet. He wants me to enjoy heaven on earth and tell others they can have heaven on earth too. Every believer says the Lord’s Prayer, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Bring heaven on earth. There is no sickness in heaven, no strife, no war, no crying or evil. As the scientists have discovered get out in your garden and your mood will change. You can have a heaven on earth in your garden, where you will experience peace, joy, healing and restoration.
Kiss of the sun for pardon,
Song of birds for mirth,
You’re closer to God’s heart in a garden,
Than any place on earth.
Author, Dorothy Frances Gurney
I attended a funeral service in my local Church. The pastor was telling us about the man who had just died. He had lived to the ripe old age of ninety two. “In retirement he and his wife enjoyed gardening” the celebrant recounted. “He grew vegetables and his wife grew flowers.” They both loved gardening. I hope my husband and I enjoy a long life like this couple did.
Thy Kingdom come on earth.