I haven’t talked about it much, but I actually became a bi-vocational pastor this year, taking a part-time job at a local Apple Store. Apple doesn’t like us talking too much about the company in social media, so I’ve been a bit mum on it. It’s been an interesting struggle to strike a balance with two jobs and family and personal needs… but one thing I have learned: take a day off every now and then! For real.
My new work schedule has taught me the value of getting enough sleep and getting good sleep, but also the the need to do something, well… wholesome every now and again. So, I’ve been using my days off here and there to do some garden work.
Our yard has never been a priority for me. No yard ever has. But I started on a day off a week or so ago to clean out an area that has been an especially irksome tangle since we moved here eight years ago. In the midst of that tangle I have occasionally let a tomato or pepper plant go wild, but whatever I planted was always swallowed up in the mess in a few months. I began by slipping on some boots and heavy gloves, grabbing a shovel and various cutting tools, and getting crazy. The gloves and boots were needed because one thing tangled in the mess was a thorny rose bush that almost never made blooms, but always snaked mean-spirited vines onto the porch loaded with pointy pain inflictors.
I ended that first session with a big pile of cuttings, thorny vines and a few innocent bystander plants that were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The next week, this past Monday, I got down and serious about how I would replace the plants I had so cavalierly deposed. I’d started collecting some planters and bags of soil over the last couple of weeks, and loaded up on herbs and veggie plants at the Sunday farmer’s market across the street. I was ready. Still, I fooled around playing video games for about an hour Monday morning before taking a deep breath and plunging back into the soil.
Here’s the result: My Wife’s New Garden. I like it and she does too! YAY! I have the herbs in various planters (with peppers). The Zinnia’s are in planters for a needful splash of color, and the tomatoes are in the ground making the most of the rain barrel and soaker hose. I moved our bird bath over to the new garden and reused an old chunk of fence that has been laying around to add a bit of background. Our little Tangelo tree got a new planter and a bird feeder.
The weather has been absolutely gorgeous, but I have to admit that I would have wasted those two days, those two unbelievably gorgeous days, on video games if I had not started this project. I’m no master gardener and this little plot isn’t going feed many hungry peoples, but I’m so happy to have spent that time in the sun, getting dirty and doing something that was… well, wholesome. Not that I play video games that aren’t wholesome, but yeah, well, ok. Slaughtering virtual zombies online, as fun as that may be, just doesn’t feed the soul quite like gardening. Not to mention that I got to do this work as an expression of love for my wonderful partner, Teresa.
Not sure I have a word to wise from this experience, but I do have a reminder that I had to get dirty to catch onto: get out and do something worthwhile on a day off! Don’t have a day off? Make one! You need it! Loving video games is fine and dandy, I still do! But I’m also going to be a bit more serious about keeping some time in the schedule to be outside photosynthesizing. We were made for some time in the soil, folks. Dig in!