Saturday, April 23, 2016

Call of the Earth

Each spring the earth calls my name just like it beckoned my mother.  She could hardly wait to plant her vegetable garden each year.

Gardening.  I loathed the word.  To me it was nothing but hard, hot, back-breaking work.  What pleasure could you get from digging in the dirt?

Each summer my siblings and I worked in the garden.  We planted seeds, chopped down weeds, and picked the veggies.  We sat on the front porch stringing bushels of green beans, cutting corn off cobs, and snapping peas.  Sweat ran down our faces.  Work never ended on the farm.  Even at night I dreamed of stringing green beans.

I vowed when I grew up to never garden again.  Let someone else labor and grow the vegetables.  I would just buy some fresh veggies at a road-side stand.

Years passed and one spring I got the call.  A desire to get my hands in the dirt churned in my heart.  It was the deep-rooted longing of my ancestors to; yes, garden!

I bounded outside and drank in the beauty.  Jonquils spread churned butter on verdant grass.  Robins lifted praise songs, Bradford pear trees offered vanilla ice-cream cones, and minnows jumped in Hyatt-Mill Creek.

I grabbed my hoe and pounded the clay dirt until every bone in my body hurt.  Sweat soaked my blouse.  I rubbed my aching back and filled my lungs with the fragrance of wild roses.  Silence.

Now I knew how my mother and ancestors felt working the good earth.  I was revived, at peace with God, myself, and nature.  Gardening!  Oh, what a pleasure.
                                                                                                     --Brenda Kay Ledford








Now that spring is here
Now that the year's advanced to spring
And leaves grow large and long
Forget each sorry and rueful thing
Hearing the wild bird's song.
               --Byron Herbert Reece



8 comments:

Mildred said...

Beautiful post. I loved the solitude of working in the garden and listening to the Lord. Your spring photos are so pretty.

magnoliasntea said...

Love this beautifully written story, Brenda. I've already felt the call myself so I really enjoyed your prose.
Hope you're having a great weekend!
Toni

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

I think most children dislike the work of gardening. I know I did, but I always liked playing in the dirt and trying to get things to grow. It must be in the blood!

Connie said...

This is such a lovely post, Brenda. I'm not very good at gardening, but I try. I do take great joy from flowers that I am able to grow when they do well. Your pictures are great! I especially love your header photo.

lil red hen said...

I grew up working in the dirt, as our family raised sorghum cane which had to be hoed, maybe more than one time; many fields with long rows with grass that resembled the cane plants. Daddy had fixed a little hoe for me and I still have it to use in my flower beds and garden. Garden work is so uncertain, depending on Mother Nature's supply of good rains. I loved your account of how you felt the call to work the dirt.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I'm right there with you....gardening and all.

Susie Swanson said...

I love this post Brenda. It takes me back to those times. I think we all felt like that but nowdays it feels so good and brings much enjoyment. I love your beautiful photos.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Lovely post. My mom was born a Ledford and she always had a garden, even when we lived in a rented four-family flat in the city. She always found a spot of earth to make things grow. All my brothers and sisters have green thumbs except for me, but I keep trying.

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