Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Time to Pick the Beans

Most of the time it seems like my life is just one giant "to do" list....time to go to work, time to clean house, time to work in the yard, time to go to church, time to wash the dishes, time to.....  My list actually goes on and on - even Sundays are full of things I need to do to get caught up and ready for the next week.

This is a story about how, in the midst of busyness and endless lists of things that need to be done, there exists perfect moments in time.   Moments that make us pause and enjoy the simple pleasures that are so often lost in the crazy chaos of modern day lifestyles.

Two weeks ago we were still in the middle of a Pacific Northwest heat wave - high 80's for several days in a row!  So my plan was to get up and rush off to early church, then come home and try to paint the back deck before it got miserably hot.  Walking past my garden on the way to church I noticed all the beans that were ready to pick and I added it to my mental list for the day.  Pick the beans, then paint the deck.

In my mind it was just another chore.  Another job to be done, another item to cross off my endless list of jobs to be done.  So I trudged down the back stairs with bowl in hand and reached out for my first handful of beans.

And in that moment something magical happened.  The brilliant blue sky peeking through the green vines as I looked up to try to find beans at the very top of poles, the buzzing of the bees, the singing of the birds, the warmth of the sun...it felt as if time had stopped and I was standing in all the gardens I have ever known. The gardens I hated to weed as a kid, the first garden I planted as a young wife and mother,  the huge gardens I planted when times were tough, the gardens of my parents and grandparents. 

Gardens filled with flowers, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, peas, beans, potatoes, corn, tomatoes.

Suddenly it wasn't just "time to pick the beans".  It was time to stop and enjoy the moment.  It was time to remember sitting in the dirt while my grandma pulled weeds, to remember pulling weeds while my own daughters played in the dirt, to remember walking in gardens with my parents while we admired their handiwork.  I wonder if someday my own grandchildren will be standing in their garden and have a moment just like this.  A moment when they remember their grandmother's little backyard garden with the row of sugar snap peas they could eat to their hearts content...and at that moment it will be about more than just picking the beans.