This past weekend, my husband and I went to Cape Cod to celebrate our second wedding anniversary. TWO years! We couldn't believe it. Even though most of the weekend was rainy or overcast, we had fun visiting the beaches, strolling through quaint Main Streets and trying on overly expensive hats, and licking (probably too many) ice cream cones. 

When we left, my garden was bursting forth promisingly. 

We returned Monday evening with the sun gleaming brilliantly through the cloud cover. My mother arrived shortly after I walked through the door, planning to spend the night at our place in preparation for our hike up Mt. Washington the next day.  Before she barely had time to put her bags down, I pulled her out the door to show her the abundance of my garden.  She, after all, still lives in Northern Maine - 300 miles north - and anyone who's been up there knows that those poor folks are at least 3 weeks behind our lower latitudes in summer.  Her garden is still in the "popping up stage," veggies hesitantly emerging from the ground for fear of an early July frost (hey, it could happen in the County!).

So, nearly jogging ahead of my mother as she admired the tiger lilies on the lawn and the apple trees overhead, I loped to my garden, scissors in hand.  That's right, I run with scissors. Especially when there is fresh kale on the other end. I reached the edge of my garden.  It was a rich, sensuous deep brown from the rain.  There they were. My gorgeous green beans.  My pumpkin plant stretching its tendrils right into the basil and parsley.  My carrots tangling in thick rows needed to be thinned. My peas mangled and ripped from their cages. My peas! I tiptoed to the back corner of my garden in disbelief, my rubber boots sinking in the spongy earth.  Sure enough, each and every pea plant, which had been growing so splendidly only 4 short days earlier, had been expertly chomped to pieces and torn out of the ground. 

Fury raged within me. I heard my mother approaching and turned around, and that's when I noticed the row of broccoli and cauliflower. Munched.  Completely munched. The plants I had hoed and weeded and cared for so thoroughly were simply eaten alive.  Not to be enjoyed by me, but by some stupid gopher.  I knew I should have shot that gopher last time I saw him, I thought darkly. 

"Wow, look at your tomatoes!" my mother exclaimed from the edge of the garden. She hadn't noticed the wreckage yet. 

I actually wanted to cry bitterly, standing in the middle of my garden with a defiled pea plant dangling from my fingers.  But how pathetic would that be? I just let out a sputter and weakly whispered, "Yeah." 

I've had a few days to think about the mangling of my plants since then.  I'll admit, I was mad.  Real mad.  I thought about fencing and sprays to keep the pests from coming back.  I thought about gopher traps.  And I thought about the peas, broccoli, and cauliflower I wouldn't get to eat this summer.  But all things considered, the loss of a few vegetables is nothing compared to the losses that life makes us face all too often.  God used my fallen plants to remind me, in His oh-so-gentle and loving way, that He is in control.  I was beginning to think I was responsible for how magnificently the plants were growing.  Praising myself a little too much for having a green thumb, and not quite remembering that those plants are, in fact, his plants.  He provided the nutrients in the soil and makes the rain fall from the sky.  He makes the sun shine. He was the world's first gardener, and certainly the best.  I'm just a girl who takes the seeds and puts them in the dirt, hoping God will provide all of the other things to make them grow.  And he has, wonderfully so.  It is the same with our lives.  We just go through our days, doing the best we can and praying to God that He will bless us, our families, our friends.  And he does so, with a faithfulness so amazing it's hard to comprehend.  Sometimes, we do experience loss.  But he catches us from falling into despair by reminding us of His love, and all the blessings he has surrounded us with.  So, today, instead of thinking deathly thoughts toward the gopher living near the garden or bitterly shaking my fists at the beautiful deer who surely feasted on my peas, I will look at all God has blessed me with and feel thankful for them.  Like my gorgeous green beans, my sprawling pumpkins, and my overgrown carrots. 



07/04/2015 6:03am

You did the right thing, Dee. Am proud of you.

07/04/2015 6:17am

Thanks, Aunt Patsy! And thank you for reading!


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    Deidre is a small-town Maine girl with a hearty appetite. Read more on the About Me page.


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