I was not born a country girl. South Florida may have vast acres of open, undeveloped land (well, it did when I was growing up), but I lived in suburbia. The closest I got to gardening was balking over the fresh tomatoes my great-grandmother served me from her backyard garden. I didn't like tomatoes, and I really didn't see the point of doing all of that work for something you could easily purchase at the grocery store. Oh, sure, I loved getting dirty, but gardening was work. Frankly, I didn't see the point, even if my Mamaw insisted that gardening was good for the soul. What on earth did that even mean?
As an adult, I have spent twenty years of that as an Army wife, bouncing from tiny apartment to tiny military housing unit, sometimes with a postage stamp backyard to mow, sometimes with just a balcony on which to hang the occasional potted geranium. However, the last five years we've owned a home with an acre of land, amid farm fields and livestock. It seemed completely necessary, once all of the boxes were unpacked, to grow something--anything. In the back of my mind, I could hear Mamaw's voice calling to me to plant tomatoes. Thankfully, I love them now, and I can appreciate the frugality of growing produce that is increasing in cost but lacking in quality.
My Mamaw was a wise woman--far wiser than I ever realized. I still smile with every new epiphany I have, knowing full well that she probably anticipated how my conversion to gardening world become an obsession. Fresh veggies, fresh air, and being out in nature with plenty of time to converse with God have become my drug of choice. She had to have known that I had leanings similar to hers in this regard. I don't know if she realized I'd be so attuned to the spiritual truths I'd find while getting elbow-deep in dirt, but remembering how devoted her heart was to her Savior, I do believe I have a good idea where she did a lot of her meditating on the Word!
I'm thankful to have been grounded in such a rich heritage. I am grateful that my foremothers understood the value found in the soil that humankind has been toiling in since the fall in the Garden of Eden. And I'm thankful that while Adam and Eve were removed from that garden, thousands of years later I am able to find my Master in the midst of my own little patch of soil.