Grandmother's Garden

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.” – Deuteronomy 8:10 (TLB)

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” - Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)

The old garden bench is weathered and worn, but still feels solid when I take my seat. The years have weathered and weakened it, but I know from experience it will easily hold my weight. I relax for a moment as dragon flies flit about and a bright yellow butterfly lights on a nearby Jasmine vine. Its’ abundant white blooms perfume the air and I breathe deep, relishing my favorite scent. The neighbor’s lawnmower disturbs the quiet morning, and the freshly mowed grass smells sweet and clean. I reach into the galvanized bucket beside me and pop a plump black dewberry into my mouth. Its juicy sweetness twinges my taste buds as I grab two more, having picked more than enough for the dewberry cobbler I will make for tonight’s dessert.

This country garden is a wild and bountiful place that delights my heart. Its flowered vines made great tunnels for hiding away from the world when I was a child, but I always avoided the dewberry’s sharp thorns and the scratchy fuzz of the squash vines. Just as she did, I gather green beans into Grandmother's old apron before making the trek down the row to dump them into her tattered old basket, passing by tomato plants that are so heavily laden the stems have to be propped-up with sticks so they don’t break under the weight. I pluck a few fat red ones and add them to the bounty I've gathered, my mouth watering in anticipation. With this frayed old blue & white gingham apron that I now wear, she carried eggs from the hen house, dried childish tears, and polished away hundreds of sticky fingerprints. If only those stains could talk…!

My Grandfather’s truck comes rattling up the road as he returns from the ice house, and I remember the creamy custard made from her recipe that I left cooling in the refrigerator earlier this morning. Homemade ice cream to top our dewberry cobbler! This simple country meal would be a feast for so many: old-fashioned, homemade food and a family gathering to honor a life well-lived before the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease stole her from us. God, in His mercy, has finally taken her home to live with Him in Glory, but His riches continue to bless us through our memories of her in the scent of the earth, the taste of ripe fruit, and the joy of His abundance.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for the blessing of loving families who train us up in the way we should go so that we can enjoy knowing you intimately as our Heavenly Father. Thank you for the joy you give us in the abundance of your creation. You are Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, and we would be lost without your loving guidance. We love you and praise you in Jesus’ name, amen.

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