Hearts with Nature
By S. Georgia Kitt
Annette Muckerheide lives in Delhi Township (Cincinnati, Ohio) and has gardened from childhood when her family tended a “Victory Garden” in St. Bernard near Emery Industries where S. Annette’s dad worked. She usually plants an early crop of peas and the predictable vegetable seeds follow the spring and summer cycle. This year she chose to expand her flower gardens and tend only a few tomato plants. The flower beds next to the house are admired by many who walk in the neighborhood. This retired Mount St. Joseph University biology professor finds the joy of accomplishing more than you might think would be a reward of gardening. It can be a favorite teacher. Her reflection is below:
Gardening, working close to Earth, can be a ‘grounding’ experience for me; stability in an age of instability. Nourishing new life, beauty is healing – not an escape from the present sad realities, but a way to catch my breath and draw on the deep energy of the Creator of it all. In the life of a gardener, one comes to adjust to the ways of nature and participate in the cycles of the season – like the challenge of weeds. In June, I was admiring my gardens as flowers were blooming, the soil was tilled and fresh. I congratulated myself on planning and executing the plot’s plan. But then July hit – hot, humid, no rain in sight. My hoe and I became good friends and the weeds withered and I managed to give the plants enough water to survive. Then the rains came, pouring buckets of water on everything until now even the hoe isn’t enough. I need sheer brute strength to remove the offensive invaders forcing me to realize how many other kinds of weeds (congratulating myself?) in my life need to be pulled. Yes, being practical there’s always the opportunity to relate one’s gardening experience to real life. Along the way we share in a common nurturing and at the end of the season, a reality check.