Somewhere, sometime, I read a quote from someone, I can't remember who. It goes something like this - "Growing a garden is the most radical thing a person can do in this life."
I've thought about this a lot over the years and have come to believe the statement's simple and eloquent truth.
A garden connects us with the earth, the soil, the dirt, the stuff from which we are made. To have our hands in this most fundamental ingredient of our lives, to which we are returned upon death, to smell it, to taste it if you dare; these are gifts a garden offers.
A garden gives us something real in our everyday worlds of plastic and electronics. In our lives of daily exhaustion, of noise, and crowdedness, and anxiety, a garden offers refuge.
A garden empowers us. It encourages us to take some measure of control over what we put into our bodies. It allows resistance to the mainstream culture and the junk it wants us to eat.
A garden requires faith. Faith the seed will germinate and grow. Faith it will produce a harvest that will nurture us and help us grow. Faith it will provide seed to start the process another year.
A garden provides us with memories - of earlier times, of our parents or grandparents, or of gardens we, too, have grown in our past.
I remember my first garden. It was my first taste of fresh spinach. Not the Popeye variety, in a can and cooked to death, but fresh crisp leaves that left your mouth feeling fresh and crisp. Swallowing, you could feel its goodness going down and know, from that day onward, it would be in your life every spring.