Leave behind the debate between analog vs. digital clocks, hand-written planners vs. virtual appointment keepers and learn to tell time by your garden! Seasonal time, that is; as our garden matures, we grow endeared to the land, becoming faithful stewards and excited observers of the plants as they establish and change throughout the year. Move over, bird watchers! Plant watching is every bit as engaging, a giddy beckoning to fall into the rhythmic tending and keeping and noticing the seasons in the patterns of our perennials and trees…and it’s Biblical!
Jesus directed us to this practice; that is, to reflect on our personal view and learn to deduce from plant activity the approaching seasons:
He told them a story. “Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. The same here—when you see these things happen, you know God’s kingdom is about here.
Luke 21:29-30 The Message
I love the flush of growth on our dwarf cedar in springtime. With evergreens, tree “sprouting” is much more subtle. Yet a lingering gaze on these blue-green branches reveals their tender, lighter-colored needles emerging, creating a mesmerizing glow to the tree. I know the tree has emerged from winter rest, and I too, feel a surge of lightness to my step!
When our garlic chives send up their flower buds, I know summertime is nearing its end, hooray! An I’ve-had-enough-heat, Texan gardener’s sentiment, I know. Yet just about the time I have had enough, garlic chives bloom with dazzling white, dainty blossoms that stand up to the sultry summer temperatures. By the time they fall over and fade, fall is sending out its first wisp of pleasing-mild breeze and I am renewed to embrace life in a new season.
Tell Time by Your Garden
In this age of “apps” and electronic anxiety, I find my mind agitates easily and wanders distractedly. Yet synchronizing with the garden’s seasonal routine seems to ground me, a “refresh” of the ancient kind, I think—a reconnect to age-old, elemental movements.
While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.
Genesis 8:22 RSV
Time for Thanksgiving
How do I know that Thanksgiving is nearly here? Our saffron crocus shoots told me! They are peeking out of the soil, prized, savory bulbs planted and featured in God’s Focus in Saffron Crocus last Thanksgiving.
O rejoice, it’s like seeing old friends! Just as Renee Shepherd, founder of Renee’s Garden Seeds, told me they would, last year’s handful of bulbs have enlarged, already displaying more densely clustered, grass-like tufts than the original bulbs produced. Not only is a saffron harvest near, but it is time for Renee’s Saffron Rice to become a traditional family Thanksgiving side dish, yum!
What plants serve as your signs? What sprouted bulb or blossoming branch reminds you where you are in the year’s progression, and what will be happening next? Watching for the tell-tales in our garden trees and plants is not merely a practice for detaching from digital stress. Indeed, it has Divine purpose: To develop a spiritual stance, anticipating the Savior’s return.
Be always on the watch
Luke 21:36 NIV
The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
Jeremiah 1:12 NIV
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Colossians 4:2 NIV
While the seasons were established as a surety—a routine rocking back and forth, the certain background scenery to which the drama of haphazard weather and storms plays out—they yield in us a spiritual intuition and habit of readiness, with an eye to signs of change. Connect to these, Jesus advised.
Prayer: O Lord, thank you for the blessings you put in our lives. You watch over us, always guiding and attentive. May I also become a watch-er, mindful and ready to see the signs—to see your movement, to witness your work at hand, to be ready when your redemption draws near.
You are my strength, I watch for you;
you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.
Psalm 59:9 NIV
H A V E A H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G ! ! !
For more on growing saffron crocus, visit our Plant Guide:
©2015-19 Shelley S. Cramm