gardening for the soul

Today was one of those stay-at-home all day beautiful kind of days.  We continued our homeschool astronomy study (this unit has been so much fun with my boys), and we just enjoyed being together.  Some days I'm craving to get out of the house--but today, it just felt nice to stay home and do our school and take the time we need to do the things we want and need to do.  We are currently staying at my mother and father-in-law's winter home since we sold our house a few weeks ago and are trying to figure out where we are going to move next!  We are down in the desert in the community I grew up in.  It's been really nice to be here.  A beautiful desert rainstorm rolled in during the early afternoon, and we enjoyed every blessed moment of it!  The air here is so fresh, and after a rainstorm, there is a wonderful sagey scent in the air.  I think it's one of the freshest scents in the world! 

abe gardening-1.jpg

After the rainstorm finished, I wanted to plant some things outside.  My mother-in-law has an incredible yard, so being out there is one of my favorite things here.  Abe volunteered to come out and garden with me while Matthew tended Lijah inside.  Being out there with him planting was such a special little experience!  Since we sold our house recently and ten months before that sold our other house just as the gardening season was starting, I haven't been able to garden for two seasons now (not good)!  I miss it. And apparently Abe missed it too.  I had so much fun with him!  We had such beautiful conversation.

While we were out there, I couldn't help but think of one of my favorite poems:

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson


I think sometimes the best things and most rewarding moments are vastly underrated.  For me, the best times come in little moments today like I had with my sweet Abe.

He confided in me that once he ate dirt!  Back when he was two.  I laughed to myself and told him that I can think of at least one time he ate dirt that I remember (funny boy)! He also made sure he put some of the wonderful rich dirt around the plants and dug adequate holes for planting.  He told me it was like breakfast for the plants.  I said it is like breakfast for the plants because it gives the plants nutrients just like our breakfast does for us.  We talked about the desert rain and how much I love being with him and working with him.  I told him what a great worker he is.  He beamed.  He told me how much he loves working with me.  As we dug about with a few raindrops still lingering, I pictured him a teenager and a grown man occasionally coming out in the yard to help his mama plant and us talking.  I sincerely hope that little vision comes to pass!  I thought how taking the time to do these things together from the time my children are young builds the relationships necessary for those experiences to continue into adulthood.

abe gardening2-1.jpg

Growing up, gardening with my mom was a special time, and I want my children to feel that way too!  There is something so fulfilling in getting your hands into some earth and making a little spot more beautiful.  And there is something special about working together and taking joy in a job well done.

We went and smelled all of the honeysuckle, rosemary, and thyme.  So gorgeous!  

abe gardening4-1.jpg
abe gardening5-1.jpg

It may not seem like much, but that hour or so that sweet Abe and I spent together working is one I'll tuck away in my treasure memories.  And I can't help but think how I want to safeguard the time that enables me to do these types of things with my children--spend time one-on-one sharing in something I love with someone I love--gardening for relationships.  Gardening for the soul.  xo