During this season of giving thanks we reflect upon the blessings of the bounty. Our gardens and engagement therein give us many reasons to pause and reflect during our season of giving thanks to God through our Thanksgiving heritage and traditions. God’s gifts of the miracle of sun, soil, seed and our passion and enthusiasm for garden work give us much to celebrate.
For the avid vegetable gardener, this year’s gathering around the table may include many labors of love shared through herbs and vegetables harvested and stored throughout the growing season. A gift of love to the family and friends we break bread with.
And although our gardens are put to sleep for their winters nap, we may have cut branches of fall berries, spent hydrangea mopheads or, grown gourds and minature pumpkins to serve as the centerpiece for our celebrations. The lavender blooms cut and dried are now being readied for sachets and gifts for seasonal giving..
All these reflect the product, but lets not overlook the gratefulness of the process. The hard physical work and diligence of gardening develops the mind body and spirit in ways other venues in today’s culture cannot. The mere physicality of it teaches our bodies many lessons, certainly not learned sitting at a keyboard. Dirty nails and calloused hands, we wear as badges of honor. We are taught how to manage success and faillure with dignity and resolve in our garden practices. And most importantly we learn to respect Mother Nature and the promise of new beginnings.
So as you gather around the table or work shoulder to shoulder with others on behalf of your favorite charity this Thanksgiving, celebrate your season of harvest in the garden, not only the product, but the invaluable process. May your Thanksgiving be blessed with warmth and the company of friends and family.