Patch of beauty.

This is an ode to my garden and all the beauty she brought into our lives this spring and summer.

Oh, she had some shining moments. After four years of laboring and learning, we can celebrate all the food produced by the work of our hands and the blessings of earth, wind and rain: bulging tomatoes, foot-long squash, peppery lettuce, savory and sweet herbs, fuzzy okra, shiny green bell peppers, and spiny canning cucumbers that were crunchier than any I've tasted before. And then the seemed that new ones sprouted up each morning - a different variety, a different shade. The whole place hummed with color and life. A haven in our own backyard.

There was much hard work and struggle. We composted, dug, planted, weeded, pruned, prayed for rain, and had a moment of silence for our beloved pole beans that shriveled up and died a few weeks after the first harvest. But as the metaphor always is with growing things, with the struggle, there has been beauty. And community, too, as we got to share our garden bounty and discoveries with so many others {photo of me and Mary in the garden one June evening}.

And then, a recent discovery: with the sweltering, uncomfortable weather that can be so burdensome in Texas, there's a unexpected gift on the flip-side: a second growing season! When everyone else is retiring their gardens for the fall, we haul out more compost, turn the soil again, and replant a bunch of seeds for a second harvest! Fall is coming. I can feel it - beneath the heat that has finally begun to relent, a subtle breeze and coolness is rising. Perhaps this fall, our pole beans will be successful...

For now, we will keep doing our part: tending our garden, feeding people, using the ability given by our Creator to go on creating. We'll keep cultivating our own little patch of beauty nestled behind our home and between three fenced walls. Here, we grow things and in our own little way, take part in redeeming the earth.

Life is indescribably beautiful.
Enjoy it today, and say thank you.