This morning I pause to stare out my window at the base of the willow oak where scarlet impatiens glow bright beside the white-flowering hostas. In the background, dozens of sunflowers tower over tall corn, pole beans, tomatoes, peppers, squash, chard, kale,and red raspberry plants. I am amazed to think that my only role in producing this abundance was to plant small seeds or seedlings and keeping things somewhat weeded and protected. Water came from above most of the summer. Through no sole thought or effort on my own could the small beginnings become the beauty I now see and harvest. Yes, the amenable weather and the design of DNA to become food and flowers that sustain us is truly a miracle.
And then comes more work. These days I have been canning tomato soup, tomato chunks, and will continue with spaghetti sauce and salsa. We pick, snap, and freeze the beans we don’t eat. Raspberries need daily picking, and corn has been mostly consumed and given to neighbors–till another crop matures next week. I have canned Sun Hi peaches and will do more when the Red Skins ripen.
Yesterday, I took a break from gardening and canning to help my husband lay carpet in a house trailer that sits at the edge of our family’s woods. The trailer is currently hidden from the road by a tall crop of field corn in front–a lovely, secluded setting. I was both weary and exhilarated after the job was done. The concrete results were satisfying.
This balance of wonder and work that both refreshes my soul and tires my bones is essential to my well-being during this time of many disasters, worries, and unknowns. For this I am thankful.