She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
Proverbs 31: 16-17, NIV
In the last few months I began a couple of Instagram live talks to follow up my blog posts. Like many who are “building a brand” ( how I hate that term), my hope was to expand the reach of the posts, but also to use the power of going live to encourage others. I would always close by praying for people. My opening sentiment, however, would always focus on what herbal tea I was drinking. The phrase”what’s in my cup” was the opening line to a discussion about a given herb and its benefits to the body.
When I planned the garden, one of my goals was always to learn more about certain herbs, and to grow a wealth of good things. Besides a host of vegetables and a smattering of berries, I researched a few herbs that would minister to our personal aches and pains. Such was the beginning of our healing garden, as I liked to call it. But as I learn more about herbs, and about gardens in general, I realize that healing comes in many ways.
Color. Right now, minus a few flowers here and there, the color is green (which I suppose is better than burnt yellow or crispy brown–lol). “Green produces a cool and soothing ambiance, and signifies growth, fertility and freshness.” Squire, The Healing Garden, 2002. And in spring, before the heat makes extended time outside simply unbearable, my morning routine is now to take a cuppa something and check every. single. plant. My husband laughs at me for going out several times a day–sometimes to dump kitchen scraps (my compost game is not that strong as I am too afraid of critters), sometimes to snip fresh greens or onions, and sometimes just because… It is tranquil, however, and soothing, and while I can get out, I will.
Shape. I honestly did not give much thought to the connection between shape and healing as I planned. When we kick-started this round of gardening, I specifically went a container route to preserve my back and knees. Then our goals began to change and expand, which meant increasingly more containers. Somewhere late last year I learned about no-dig, no-till gardening. There are many benefits both to the earth and to the gardener, with the most critical for me being that there is minimal weeding. SOLD. So now, as I begin to tap more into the Instagram gardening community (and what a friendly learning community it is), I can envision a more picturesque environment, one that promotes some type of healing because of its attractiveness.
Scent. Even with my original, more narrow scope, I quickly picked up on the power of scent. I so enjoy drinking my fresh mint or Thai basil tea, and after visiting my favorite Jamaican restaurant in town, I thought to grow my own roselle hibiscus. I have a sorrel drink on the brain. But my morning walks reveal other scents, like the residual smell on my hands of a tomato plant as I check the undersides for hornworms, or the beneficial marigolds that bird droppings have spread in places where I planted no seeds.
Of course, God knew our annual yield from all this effort since before time. As for me, I plan my work, and work my plan. And I speak over our garden, believing God to bless our efforts, and to take advantage His many ways to heal.
Tell the righteous it will be well with them,
for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.
Isaiah 3:10, NIV