As a nature lover and fervent Catholic I have always found a correlationbetween gardening and Hope. Hope is what allows our Faith to look forward to better things whether we can see the 'proofs' of better times/things or not. Gardening is like that for me: I believe in what I cannot see because I have Hope for better times.
Winter is difficult for this gardener. I dream of sunny, late Spring days and the many surprises that surface on a daily basis. Summer brings the full-blown culmination of that Hope and reveals the beauty we have
co-created by our labors and God's beautiful world. As Fall approaches, I am stirred by its beauty and the cooler weather but also feel a sense of foreboding because of what I know will follow. I am trying to learn to live in the 'now' but am troubled by the coming desolation - the only reprieve is a blanket of pure, white snow and the beauty it brings...and for me this doesn't happen nearly enough so what we are left with is the obvious 'death' of the landscape.
In both our faith-life and our gardening there are ways (tools if you will) to circumvent these 'dark' times. As we pour over our seed catalogs we are encouraged to plan ahead for a bright, colorful future ahead. We work 'now' for what will happen 'then'. In the same way we can approach our soul's destiny. The 'seed catalogs' are the Bible and other religious reading material, the 'groundwork' is our associations with our Christian brethren and the work we put in toward our ultimate goal. Both in gardening and in Faith we will reap what we sow...let us sow wisely so that we may reap beauty - both in our garden and Eternally.
"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it." ~ Brother Lawrence