The vegetable garden has been a source of constant inspiration this summer, time spent weeding, poling up the beans and peas and trying to stay ahead of the many intruders trying to nibble at my pending harvest. Recently, under a smoke filled sky and through a dense humidity I found myself wondering why I even bother gardening but the answer came almost as soon as the question was formed.
The answer arrived at the far corner of the plot where I purposely planted the tomato plants. I had arrived prepared to cage up the four tomato plants I placed weeks earlier and was surprised to find not four tomato plants but three times more!
Puzzled at first, I took to pulling up the weeds only to discover growing wildly among the rows were tall tomato plants, seemingly they were the result of the seeds from last year’s fallen fruit. I wasn’t sure at first if they should be allowed to continue or if I should pull them out, especially since they dared to grow where I had planned straight pathways.
Some were pulled out while others were left to grow and now, they bear fruit with just as much pride as their purposely planted neighbours.
It has reminded me of a lesson Jesus teaches in the Gospel of Luke and Paul repeats in the Epistles; we reap what we sow. Meaning, those who spend their life spreading seeds of kindness, patience, joy and understanding will gather in a harvest just as rich. However, the opposite is also true, spending one’s life selfishly focused on your wants, at the expense of others, results in a lonely and conflicted existence. It is a lesson in karma or as Robert Louis Stevenson writes, “Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.”
Robert Louis Stevenson advices us to “not judge each day by the harvest we reap, but instead by the seeds we plant.” May we all have a rich harvest.