Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In all things ... give thanks

The rest of Canada has had an exceptionally hot summer this year.  However, on Vancouver Island, where we pride ourselves on our lush gardens, the weather has been miserable.  Thus it is that, wherever two or three gardeners are gathered together in my neighbourhood, the talk inevitable turns to the disappointing yields from orchard and vegetable bed. The litany of complaint is loud and long. Wet spring, cold July, no bees, marauding deer, slugs, no sun. I complain with the best of them, often leading the chorus. Here it is, the end of summer and my tomatoes are still green.  The Fall Fair last weekend had only four ripe pumpkins.

In previous years, my plum tree has yielded bushels of fruit. This year, I've got a niggardly offering that won't full one ice cream bucket. I was ready to write off the garden as a complete failure, and then I found the blackberries.

The bushes are laden, the berries sweet and juicy and huge! Best of all they require little effort to grow and maintain.

I can't help considering the blackberry bushes along the roadsides in my part of the world as an example of God's grace. We label them "noxious weed." We cut them down, plough them under, trample them over. We strip them of fruit and hack at the vines, then turn our backs and ignore them. Yet, year after year, the blackberries shower the ungrateful with abundance, fruit fit for kings, there for the taking, no questions asked, no one excluded.

    Now, when I'm tempted to complain about the failures in my garden, I remember Paul's message to the Thessalonians, In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Come visit me at www.alicevaldal.com
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  1. Alice, we didn't have much of a summer last summer here in South Australia, got very few tomatoes but had a bumper crop of apricots, my nectarine tree had no fruit.
    We use to have blackcurrents growing wild where we use to live and I remember they were a weed and had really sharp thorns.

    I do feel for you as I know we went from a cold went winter, to no spring and not much summer and I know how it made me feel.

  2. Thanks for your empathy, ausjenny. I hope you made good use of your bumper crop of apricots. On a "sunnier" note, I won first prize at the fair for my rhubarb jam. Another fruit that is often overlooked but grows in plenty.

  3. Congrats on the First price. I am not a big fruit eater but I shared the fruit with many.

  4. In Kansas, we had a scorching summer. Nearly two full months of 100 degree Fahrenheit heat. We had very few tomatoes, none with any size and mostly sunburned. This year we didn't get a single cucumber. Generally I have them piled in hills on my counters and am seeking people to give them to. The zucchini, which I have called a noxious weed because of it's rampant production, yielded only half a dozen gourds. But the sweet banana peppers went absolutely wild. From four plants, we gave them away by the buckets full.

  5. "buckets of sweet banana peppers." See what I mean? When all seems lost, God produces an unexpected harvest.