Our Hunger

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“It seems to me we can never give up

longing and wishing while we are still alive.

There are certain things

we feel to be beautiful and good,

and we must hunger for them.”

George Eliot

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Have you ever considered how much our hunger inspires our gardening? 

Whether we hunger for peace, we hunger for beauty, we hunger for our own home grown fruits, or we hunger for purpose…  Our appetites may be fed through our efforts in the garden.

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Yet the garden feeds so many more hungry mouths and hearts than just our own.  July shows us just how many creatures gather here for sustenance.  They congregate peacefully, sharing summer’s feast. 

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Some scuttle out of sight at our approach, or fly to a further branch or higher blossom.  Evidence of their passing may be seen in a leaf ridden with holes, or a nibbled stem. 

Others take their meals alive and intact.

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Little of what we plant for ourselves will we harvest.  Perhaps some herbs, and a chili here and there; if we are lucky, a handful of figs. 

Experience has shown us that fruits go mostly to the squirrels before they can ripen.  They enjoy the hazelnuts, too.  Birds take the berries. 

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But we don’t really mind that much.  We consume the garden’s essence with our eyes, our hearts; breathing in its tranquil beauty each hour of the day.

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A gardener’s mind is restless. 

Perhaps our original sin is covetousness.  We wake in the night thinking of what we will plant in daylight. 

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We scheme to multiply the abundance.  We collect cuttings, hoard seeds, expand the empire of compost we steward. 

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We live in hope of attracting another species of bird, of spotting another sort of butterfly or bee. 

We hunger for those things we have not yet grown.  We dig, we build, we plant; we manifest the living vision which haunts our thoughts.

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Ours is the hunger which also nourishes. 

It leads us to to nourish our own hearts, and so much more….

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“If you don’t feel strong desires

for the manifestation of the glory of God,

it is not because you have drunk deeply

and are satisfied.

It is because you have nibbled so long

at the table of the world.

Your soul is stuffed with small things,

and there is no room for the great.”


.

John Piper

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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