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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)

TITLE: Guarded Haven


I feel the wind tousle my hair and Iím instantly alert. I look at my watch. Right on time. Grabbing a basket, I leave all else behind and head for the garden.

The brisk breeze romps through our eighty-five acres of farmland and woods. Like a child at play, it rustles the ripening corn stalks, and teases the walnut leaves from their wispy branches. When it comes to my garden, though, it grows still and whispers. It walks softly through the lavender, rosemary, and lemon balm, and runs its silken fingertips through the mint, releasing the fragrant oils. With the skill of an ancient apothecary, it mixes the scent of roses and honeysuckle into a perfume that permeates the air. Echinacea and bee balm vie for its attention. My perennials sigh, and the vegetables lift their droopy heads, glad for a reprieve from the late summer sun.

Like the breath from angelís wings, the wind flows along the sacred dimensions of my garden. It seems to sense my need for a haven from the cares of this hectic life, and guards the borders with a holy jealousy. I feel protected as I take the warm earth into my hands. The dirt crumbles through my fingers, rich and moist, and I wonder how God felt when forming Adam and Eve. I try to imagine the garden He created for them, free from sin, as I look at the weeds in mine threatening to mount a major revolt. I smile to myself. A perfect garden, wouldnít that be nice!

Gardens are mentioned over sixty times, in eighteen different books of the Scriptures. To me, they have a special connection to Heaven. The night before he went to the cross, Jesus wept in the garden of Gethsemane. He was buried in a garden tomb. When I watch the miracle of a perfect plant spring to life from a dead, shriveled up seed, I am reminded of his death and resurrection. When a butterfly lands close to me, I think of the same transformation I will go through one day. Spiritual truths abound in garden settings, just waiting to be gleaned.

Filling my basket with green beans and tomatoes, I reflect on how the Lord once walked with Adam in perfect fellowship, in a perfect garden. Now He walks in mine. Humbled, I treasure this spiritual intimacy with Him as I work. The wind understands; after all, it was there with Him in the beginning, and has been through many gardens since. In quiet reverence, it waits until Iím done. Then it goes on its way, leaving me to enjoy the fruits of my labor, promising to be back tomorrow.

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This article has been read 1081 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rhonda Clark09/14/06
This is great! The descriptions are incredible.
Kim Thomas09/14/06
I can smell every corner. Brilliant descriptions...alive and moving. I think this should be moved up a notch! Wonderful work...Thank you!
Betty Castleberry09/16/06
Your imagery is amazing. I love the parallels you drew, too. Thank you for this.
Jen Davis09/19/06
From the first paragraph it was as if you grabbed my hand and took me along on a tour of your garden. I wanted to be able to close my eyes and breathe in the heavenly scent. Very nice descriptive writing and rich in insight. "Spirtual truths abound in garden settings, just waiting to be gleaned." So true.
Donna Powers 09/19/06
Very well done! Your picture was so clear that it could be a polaroid! Thanks for sharing this.
Jan Ackerson 09/19/06
A lovely meditation on a garden, and in a garden. Very nicely done.
Amy Michelle Wiley 09/19/06
Lovely article! Nicely done.
Joanne Sher 09/20/06
This is so amazing, it sent chills up my spine! Your imagery is absolutely astounding, your voice is PERFECT, and I adore just about every line of this - but especially your "theology" paragraph. Wow, wow, WOW!
Cheryl Harrison09/20/06
I was right there in the garden with you. I loved this line:

Spiritual truths abound in garden settings, just waiting to be gleaned.

Great job!
Val Clark09/20/06
A delightful description of your garden experience that makes it real for the reader.
Debbie Sickler09/21/06
Your descriptions really brought your garden to life. :)
william price09/21/06
You made my heart smile. God bless.
Jan Ackerson 09/22/06
Mid, I'm going to feature this article in the Front Page Showcase for the week of October 9. Look for it on the FW home page. Thanks again for this lovely piece!
Pat Guy 10/09/06
I'm so glad I found this! I too love my herbs and use them as needed! Their fragrances are just as healing. An awesome piece - VERY good work!
Jamie glaser10/12/06
beautiful imagery and great spiritual truths. God seems very alive to me in the garden, also. His goodness shines there, as a reminder of His creation
Jacquelyn Horne07/25/07
I could feel the solitude of your special garden. It sounds so peaceful.