Author’s Corner: Life Lessons From My Garden

Guest blog by Jean Petersen, a Little Lamb Books author

Each time I go my garden, I’m excited to lift the oversized leaves of one of the growing vegetable plants.  I feel like a kid in a candy store when I find a deep green monster zucchini peeking out from beneath its haven.

The harvest season is truly one of my favorite times of year. The outdoors shares its beauty and opportunity to get outside before the true cold of our Montana winter sets in, and the indoor gleans time for baking, making soups, and sipping teas with the homegrown goodness I am fortunate to collect from my little treasure trove. 

The fruition of these blessings didn’t come easy this year. The fact that anything sprouted is due only to the hardiness of the seeds, and their staying power to withstand an unusual early summer.

Typically, we start planting after Memorial Day since we sit at about 5,000 feet in elevation, but this summer season set in exceptionally wet and cool, and lasted until the 4th of July.  Even though my little fledging plants were trying to grow, there just wasn’t enough to hold them to their foundation, warm their sprouts to grow and pull toward the sun, and save them from the cold wind and storms.

But once the warmth came it was amazing to see the growth-their roots grew deep and held tight to its foundation, the leafy stems consumed the sunshine and kept lifting upward, and their blooms were safe and strong beneath the oversized leaves to withstand the hot summer winds wanting to suck the moisture from the flowering petals and dry them into withering brittle twigs all the way to the ground.

I realize how those successful seeds and I have a few things in common-their foundation, what they let fill them, where they lift toward and how they resisted becoming dried up.

For me I find in the Fall I’m more rooted in what’s important, rather than being consumed by the business of the summer months. Not that I feel completely unrooted in the summer, but I do feel a sense of my roots flailing in a host of directions to try to hang on to what’s solid while also maintaining some sort of balance.  But in the Fall, it just slows down.  I can feel my true belief foundation, roots steadfast and growing deeper-not flailing trying to hold onto anything, and as I’ve let the warm summer sun fill me like the love of our Lord I too grow so I’m filled with a better sense of alignment and that I’m headed in a purposeful direction.

Finding balance in any season can be merely caused by choices which can suck me dry, but like those fall veggies being covered in faith weathers any storm and readies me for the bountiful opportunities to bloom and continue to grow. 

There are so many reasons I love Fall, but it’s how I reflect on the lessons from the garden that I find an abundance of joy.