And so I began my day with a slender shovel, turning over the dirt in our garden plot. The black dog pranced importantly around the perimeter; I found white grubs and disturbed a colony of fire ants. It was much nicer than beginning — as I often must — with books or the rush to be out the door and away.
And there was space for thought. For wondering about things and praying about things. Sometimes, lately, it is tempting to wonder “why” about a great many things that I do. Why turn over the garden, why begin it, if we may not be living here to see its ending in the fall? It’s a silly question, really. What if I lived my whole life according to such questions, never beginning anything unless I had assurance that the fruit would be what it was meant to be, that I would be able to enjoy it. Very little would ever be begun, and I would worry away the joy of mornings like this one in calculations of future benefit. What about the right now? What if the whole purpose of this year’s garden was met in those hours I spent with my slender shovel?
Years ago, as we prepared for one of our moves, I planned with myself to make no friends in the new place. Our orders were for two years, and after that we would certainly be gone. I didn’t want that going to hurt. But of course God was good and gave me friends in spite of my plans — last fall I travelled back there to celebrate a wedding … so it seems my calculations of potential fruition had too short a time-table.
What then? I don’t know, really. I began my day with the garden, and I have ended it there. Today, it is enough.