Sunday, April 22, 2012
Garden of Eden
My mother was raised on a farm and never lost her love for tending a vegetable garden. Every summer we would enjoy the fresh veggies from her crops. The best were the asparagus. She loved to tell the story of the asparagus that grew wild along the road by their farm when she was a child. They would often pick some for dinner, if the mailman didn't beat them to it.
In later years when I met my in-laws, I learned that their favorite hobby was tending their quarter-acre yard. They grew every variety of roses, along with exotic orchids and plumeria, two large vegetable gardens, and 16 various fruit trees. Nearly all their free time was spent there, weeding, pruning, planting. It was certainly very nice, but in my mind it was just a lot of hard work -- certainly not my idea of fun.
My perspective changed, though, a few years ago when our family moved back to my childhood home. John & I started spending our weekends lovingly tending the flowers and fruits. I dug up part of the back yard and put in a new flowerbed, planting some of my mother's favorite flowers. We also replaced my dad's rusty old storage shed with a gazebo where we could sit and enjoy the yard. We loved to visit various nurseries and bring back new and exotic plants to add to our garden. I even planted some asparagus, knowing that it would take several years before it was good to harvest. What had seemed like boring hard work had now become our favorite hobby. I loved our garden and wished my dad was still around to see how we had taken such good care of it. He'd probably snap a few photos of my roses.
In the past few months I haven't been well enough to get outside and weed and prune and dig in the dirt like I had been. I really miss that. I think that of the many things I would miss from this life, my garden is near the top of the list. Then I started thinking that surely God has created a magnificent garden for us in heaven. Can you imagine a place tended by God Himself? A place of boundless beauty and tranquility, free of any pollution, contamination, or sin!
We've been having some wonderful warm spring weather recently, and I went outside just to walk around my garden and enjoy it. I picked a bag full of avocados, snipped a few sprigs of asparagus, and picked a few roses to enjoy in a vase inside. I inspected the many plants I hadn't been able to tend for awhile and was surprised to find buds and blossoms on many -- even on some cactus I'd never seen bloom. I quietly told my Heavenly Father that I know we'll have a lot of other things to do in Heaven, but I sure hope we'll have plenty of time to enjoy the garden. I heard Him answer me as His words spoke to my heart: "We'll have all eternity."
I can hardly wait.