Squash bugs have decided to invade my little garden box of squash. Yuck.
I have given the 11-year-old the task of using his pocket knife to destroy these pests that will rob us of our produce. He looked at me stunned, his eyes revealing his thoughts of “I can’t do that.” So I looked him in the eye and told him the two reasons.
There are only two reasons why a man ever kills. It is to protect his family or to provide for his family. He got it. He understood that getting rid of the bugs protected our garden that was to provide food for the family.
It is somewhat ironic that we had this conversation this morning. You see, Matthew has been declaring his childhood is over in various ways. He no longer picks up children’s offering at church, instead he brings his own money to pass out to all the “little kids.” And so it has gone for the past few weeks. In his rush to leave the innocence of childhood, he has stumbled upon the harsh reality of adult responsibilities. Perhaps indeed this summer will be the boy’s “coming of age.”
It has been a long project and it still isn’t “done.” My husband got the garden boxes built for Mother’s Day, but we had to wait until today to get great soil from an heirloom gardening place in town. It is rich, dark and looks like it can grow anything. For people like me, we need all the help we can get.
Everyone in the family has work or gardening gloves except for me. Karl asked me again this afternoon, are you sure you don’t want some gloves? I assured him that I would be fine. I don’t mind getting my fingers dirty. I know how to use a nail brush, soap and running water. I’ve never seen “in the bag at the store” potting soil that looked anything like what we got today. It is so beautiful and it felt wonderful to work that soil with my hands.
The children had helped in various stages of the project. Michael, Matthew and Greta have helped build boxes, seal boxes, water seedlings, pick out starter plants, shovel the special soil and maybe a few other things. But I’m the one that took the plants out of the starter pots and placed them in their new homes, working that rich soil. We’ve all had contact with it and hopefully that will make the taste of the fresh produce that much better. I’m looking forward to tomatoes that have taste and strawberries that smell good, look good and taste good!
I’m praying for God to bless our gardening efforts. We need it. I’ve failed many times before. We keep trying to improve, like getting good soil and using starter plants instead of trying to grow from seeds. I’ve already been blessed, getting a connection with the soil that will provide the environment that will grow plants that will feed my family. What a process. What a gift that God has given us – to be connected to the world He placed us in. Resting in all of God’s goodness and what He had provided was our first duty and gardening was our first job.
Today is a family day since the kids are off for thanksgiving. Day in Nature is our goal.
It took us almost two hours to get five of us out the door. Makes me wonder, are we so far removed from nature and the way God placed us in a garden that it is difficult to prepare for simplicity and refreshment again?
Wilderness Man will be happy today. Perhaps he will someday raise his own children to be closer to nature.