The Blessing of Slowing Down

 In "Reflections" Blog, Voices from Home

Near the beginning of the pandemic, here in Northern California, the time to plant our summer garden came in mid-April. Sheltering in place had abruptly and completely changed the place and pace of my usually “busy outside the house” life.

Being forced by circumstances to slow down and stay at home has indeed been frustrating, but some hidden treasures are there if I hear and say “yes” to the Spirit’s whispered invitation to look for them.

My usual garden-planting ritual looked like this in the past: on a particular weekend, everything happened in one giant farming project. The soil in each raised bed was amended and the seedlings that I bought at the nursery were planted. Then I went back to busy again. 

Maybe six weeks later I would find some time to spend in the garden and it would always be then that two things would happen. First, I would be amazed to see how such tiny little plants were already much bigger and some were covered in blossoms; there would even be the very first tiny little tomatoes on the vine! And the second thing was the weeds- so many had sprung up that I would have to spend a number of hours pulling them so they didn’t choke out the veggies.

Well, this year was not like that at all. 

Everything slowed down and I have had the great joy of beginning each day in the garden and then sitting at my desk to work, where I can continue gazing out at what grows there. I am not kidding when I say that I have watched the tiny little heads of lettuce get a tad bigger every day until they were fully mature. Wow!

The place… home, looking out the window or wandering amidst the plants.

The pace… slow enough to watch the miracle of Creation at its daily work!

In the midst of the frustrations and fears of the pandemic, I am grateful for these gifts of grace.