Early last spring, I mentioned my need to grow things to one of my late daughter’s teachers. It’s that backward pull again, the roots of childhood lacing up my legs like pea vines. I’d felt it for years–this need to plant–but it was particularly urgent after Ruth’s death.
“My husband and I bought a share last year at this little organic farm in Brunswick,” my daughter’s teacher said. “It was great. I think they even let people work there in exchange for food. You should check it out.”
As soon as I got home, I typed the name she’d given me into the search engine on my computer. Up came leafy, colorful pictures of flowering vines and baskets filled with life-giving produce. Quickly, I called the number on the bottom of the screen and left a message.
The farmer called back the same day, saying she had one worker spot left for the season. For two hours each week and $300 (half the regular price) our family could bring home a box of hand-grown, organic produce every day from June through mid-fall.
I started the following week, standing in the sun-warmed greenhouse, scooting tiny seeds from the corner of an envelope with the tip of a pencil and dropping them into square plugs of soil. The only sound was the wind rippling the plastic walls and the occasional snort of pigs and cluck of chickens.
“Grow little seeds,” I spoke while covering each with a blanket of soil.
And I thought of my daughter, Ruth, under her own soil blanket. And of the verses in my Bible promising that she–like these seeds–would be transformed. Made new. Risen again. It’s hard to believe what can’t be seen. Hard to know what happens under the soil.
And yet, when I returned to the farm last week, the seeds I’d helped plant filled two-acres with fifty-foot rows of ruffled greens and curly topped garlic and fat green ripening tomatoes. I weeded strips of tangy onions and thick-skinned beats bulging out of the soil. Then I collected my kids and drove up the twisting dirt drive to the barn where we filled our farm box to overflowing.
It’s a mystery–small seeds transforming into towering stalks and fruiting vines. But every week I visit the farm, I am reminded of the unseen power that transforms something small and fragile into something new.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” I Corinthians 2:9.
What is something you believe but can’t see?