Thursday, April 26, 2018

Garden blessing

For the last several years, each Spring, I've followed a simple ritual to bless my garden. It started because I didn't really know what to do with my old blessed palms from previous Palm Sundays. I'd heard that if you didn't put them into the Ash Wednesday or Easter fires, you should burn them, but somehow that didn't seem like enough.

So I made up a little garden blessing ritual of my own. On a calm, windless day, I take my old palms out to the garden, dig a little pit, put them in it and light a match. I sing This Little Light of Mine (or other spiritual songs that have to do with light or fire) while the palms burn down to ashes. Then I sprinkle little bits of the ashes in the many corners of my garden, and finally the four corners of our yard. And I say little prayers aloud, that go something like this:

God,
thank you for your abundant blessings.

Thank you for this soil,
which you have given,
and for the seeds
that you will make to grow here.

Bless our garden and help it to flourish:
bless the tomatoes and the berries,
the potatoes and the squash,
and all the others,
along with the birds, butterflies,
bees, spiders,
and other creatures who visit
or live here.

(I hope the hummingbird comes back again this year!)

Give us all warmth and sun,
and rain when we need it.

Please protect this garden,
and all our gardens,
from drought or hail or damaging pests.

(And if you could keep the mosquito population to a dull roar,
I'd really appreciate it!)

Protect our trees from strong winds,
and the birds
who come to splash in the birdbath
or nibble the snow peas.

And if we should have one of THOSE storms,
may I be as gracious as Job and say,
"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away;
blessed be the name of the Lord."

(Oh, look, the first lady bug!)

And bless the farmers,
whose gardens are so much bigger than mine!

Please bring us all to a happy harvest,
and help us to share our abundance with others who need it.

Thank you for all the life
that lives in this sacred space.

Bless it,
and bless us,
and help us to remember
that your whole world
and all beings within it
form a beautiful and blessed garden
that deserves our love and care.

+Amen.

And once I've scattered the ashes and wandered around the yard, looking for little points of green, I fill in my little fire pit and go look for the packet of sweet peas I ordered from the garden catalogue.

Let the planting begin!

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