Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring, Sun, and Strawberries

Two weeks ago, I ate the first spear of asparagus right out of the garden. We had dug the pit a year ago in February. It is quite a process to prepare an asparagus bed. We were excited to try and see if we could do the work necessary. That first spear was a delight. We have had two small harvests since then. The asparagus tastes like spring and sun and newness of life.

I have to admit I have always disliked asparagus. Until about five years ago, I refused to eat it. I was in restuarant where my friend Ben Murray was the chef and he had a halibut dish which he served with fresh asparagus. I wanted to try the dish and he said, "try the asparagus. I know you will like it!" And I did! Who knew? I had only had the asparagus out of a can as a kid and it was mushy and slimy. Wow, fresh, crunchy, tasty.

Two days ago, I did something I have never done before. I ate a strawberry right out of the garden. My husband and I planted some strawberry plants this spring. The birds got the first few. I finally bought some old fashioned black net and covered those plants.

The strawberry was warm from the sun. It was bright red. The strawberry tasted of the warmth of the sun and if you will, it tasted red and like strawberry should. Like the asparagus, there is something phenomenal about fruit right out of the garden.

I did not grow up gardening. I come by it late in life. I am not a garden guru, just someone who puts the plants in the ground and hope and pray they will grow and produce vine-ripened tomatoes, tasty new potatoes and onions, radishes, lettuce and carrots.

The winter was so long, and cold and dreary. I am truly grateful for the spring, for the flowers and for the produce of the garden. The older I get, the more delightful and the more tasty the harvest becomes. There really is something different eating in season and out of the garden instead of the unripened fruits and vegetables that come out of season. Those reflections will come later.

For now, it is enough to in the words of psalmist, "The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season...You open your hand, and you satisfy the desire of every living things." I know that I have learned to be thankful and satisfied for the gifts of the garden and of God's good earth. I am delighting in the strawberry, the asparagus and for the fruits and vegetables sprouting in the warmth of the sun.

As I await the harvest to come, I am

Graced to Serve,

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