I love getting outside and filling my lungs with fresh air. I love looking up to the skies rather than my mouldy ceiling. I even love getting sweaty, the feeling of having worked hard, and the protests afterwards from my hands and legs.
I love the promise of fresh and healthy food for my family.
I love watching things grow; new shoots, spreading leaves, uncurling blossom, budding fruit.
Most of all I love the parables brought to mind with each different task.
I tend to the beans. While we were away, they had become entangled with another vine, a weed. I wanted to pull out that vine and disentangle my beans from it. But I had not gone far before I realised that if I did that, I would also pull out the beans. So to protect the beans, I will have to wait until after harvest before I destroy the vine.
I have recently just planted some cucumber seedlings. The scorching sun beat down upon them and as they had not been able to put down roots, they withered. The next day, a fowl came into the garden and scratched right out of the ground those that I had managed to revive, snatching them from the soil, so to speak. Often I must pull weeds to protect them from being smothered. But when the soil is good: deep, and nourishing, and when protected from fowl and weeds, not to mention little orange beetles which love to eat cucumber and zucchini leaves, my little seedlings thrive and flourish and will produce a wonderful crop.
To my surprise, some of the capsicum plants survived quite well while we were away. One group, spread with mulch, looked very healthy and are still producing decent-sized capsicums. The other group, without mulch, look spindly, leafless and are not producing much fruit. I decided to prune them back, cutting off branches so that the roots didn't have to supply water and nutrients to quite so much of the plant. But how to decide which branches to cut off? Well, it was simple. If it had fruit, it survived. If it didn't, it was cut off!