After several months of work last fall, B and I ended up with four large raised beds for our vegetable gardening this year, along withe a rather large barrel for making compost. We enjoyed a whole winter of lettuce, swiss chard, kale, spinach, and the occasional yellow tomato (apparently no one told them that they weren’t supposed to overwinter). Come spring, we cleared out the wilting lettuce and planted an amazing array of vegetables. We watered. We fertilized. We waited. Despite our best intentions, our gardens have been hit or miss over the last few years.
This year, almost everything took off, but in the most God-bearing way. What I mean is this: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). This verse starts an oft-quoted series about seasonality, “a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot” (v.2), etc.
This is the garden in what I thought was its heyday. I took it because our over-productive green beans had the start of spider mites, which I’ve just discovered have been killing off our plants mid-season. Pre-mites, we were averaging about a pound of beans every day or two. And yes, we did manage to eat or put by every last ounce. My heart sank at the thought of losing those plants. But as the green beans died off, the zucchini flourished. Then as the zucchini slowed down, the eggplants overflowed. Our yellow tomatoes finally wilted, but we had romas for a couple of weeks, then beefsteaks, and now cherry tomatoes. The potatoes came and went, then the corn. Over and over, one plant slowed production as another took off.
It was amazing to see how God takes care of us. In my mind, I planted everything with the notion of having everything. I didn’t want to see anything die. I wanted to see it grow and thrive, all at once. But as a person who ate green beans, then zucchini, then eggplant for several weeks each, I can promise you that if everything had grown and thrived all at once, we would never have eaten all of it. We might even have suffocated under the sheer weight. Nor would we have enjoyed it. On the rare occasions when I had too much, the homegrown flavor of each individual plant was lost in the veggie-medley concoction.
There is a season for everything. A season for kids at home, a season for kids at school. Today begins K’s season of full-day kindergarten. A season for writing, for running a half marathon, for not writing, for not running. It’s hard for me to accept this cycle, sometimes, because I want it all. But abundance is not necessarily life abundant, because having it all means I won’t enjoy it all, not properly. Lately I’ve been in a season of praying about thenext season. Whatever that may be, I’m thankful that God is good to slow us down, to pace us out, lest we miss out on enjoying each course as it comes, and I pray for God’s grace in letting go of this season when I’m ready to embrace the next.