I am coming to the close of the gardening season. Tomatoes are still ripening. But predicted lows in the upper 30’s this weekend in St. Louis means the plants’ days are numbered, as are my days for wearing shorts. There are still plenty of green tomatoes on the vines, unfortunately as happens every year they have vastly outgrown the supports I provided and the vines lay mostly along the ground. As a result I unintentionally provide fresh vegetables for young rabbits and squirrels. I think they are eating healthier than I am.
It was still nice enough today to sit for a while in the backyard and read. I’m preparing a course on baptism in the New Testament and the Early Church. I shared the yard with the small butterflies and Bumble and Honey Bees who were still flitting around the seven foot Phlox.
Yesterday I raked up some of the golden needles which have fallen on my lawn and neighbor Kevin’s driveway. With his permission I have a shade garden which borders his garage. Most of those plants love the acidic mulch the pine needles will provide. Besides it’s the one garden where I have been able to keep ahead of the weeds.
I was also reminded that while I am a brother of the second Adam, my Lord Christ, who knew gardens as a place of prayer and burial and resurrection; I am also a son of the first Adam and his wife Eve. My coneflowers had developed a disease this summer which caused them to shoot up multiple heads which came to nothing. My only choice was to dig them up, which I did yesterday. They now reside in a barrel waiting to be picked up Monday.
In Revelation 22, St. John writes of a vision of Eden renewed with the Water-of-Life River flowing from the throne down the middle of the street. The Tree of Life grows on each side of the river bearing twelve kinds of fruit, one for each month. The leaves provide healing for the nations. That sounds like peace and well-being for all. I imagine that part of our ongoing worship will be to care for that shaded boulevard, with garden plants producing enough fruits and vegetables for all. The flowers will bloom undiseased while bees, butterflies, and humming birds delight themselves to our delight.
Thus next spring, God willing, I will make my yearly effort to make our yard a prelude to that eternal and perfect Eden envisioned by St. John.