I love the smells of late summer. Freshly cut grass, new compost in freshly harvested beds and garlic in the closet. While that last one may raise your eyebrows, allow me to explain.
As I have shared before, I love to garden. It is therapy for me. It is a time of connecting with the Creator, a time of mindfulness if you will. The underneath side of my fingernails get embedded with dirt, no matter the fact that I wear gloves, and on breezeless days, I am sweaty. But when all is said and done, there is an immense sense of satisfaction. I have done something well, and I have something to show for it. This week, it is garlic and onions that are my reward.
Yahweh my God has abundantly blessed our gardens, and I am convinced it is because of his faithfulness to his word to man. He says that we are to let our “land” rest every seven years and he will bless us for our heart of obedience. Which we do. We don’t plant on the seventh year. We still have the perennials to eat from, kale, berries, apples, etc. and we have some volunteer tomatoes that will pop up. But we deliberately do not plant anything ourselves. Our strawberry bushes are huge, I have never seen bushes that big. He has truly blessed us, and I believe he wants to bless us, because of his love for us.
Back to garlic in the closet. We like Russian Giant Purple garlic. Our garlic cloves for planting came with great instructions, which we follow. Plant at a certain depth, water a certain amount, clip the scapes (flower stems, which are also edible) before they bloom, stop watering a month before harvesting so the papers don’t stick to the cloves and more. When you pull garlic, you need to let it dry, dirty roots and stems intact, in a cool dark place. We have found the best place for that is in the closet under our staircase. It is the same closet that my father uses for excess office stuff, and spare folding chairs. For the next couple weeks, it will smell subtly of garlic and dirt every time I open the door. Once the garlic is ready to store, I will take it outside, take off the tops and trim the roots. Then it will go back in the closet into a basket for the winter. We won’t smell that garlic again until late spring (if there is any left). That is when the closet started getting a pungent smell of garlic. That is when we know it is drying up in the papers, and it will be hot or kiss as to whether what is left is any good or not.
Here’s where I wax philosophically. I hope that my life will be like fresh garlic. Slowly growing underground, and when my life is over, there will be a huge fragrant fruit to show for it. I know that that analogy breaks down later with the pungent, not so good stuff, but hopefully you get the gist of what I am saying. I want my life to bring forth fruit to nourish the souls of those that know me. I think we all have that desire. To be nourishing to those around us, as opposed to poisonous. To leave this world a better place than we came into it.
Today, may you get a glimpse into the type of fruit you are growing for others. If it is good, keep doing what you are doing. If it isn’t, make a change. Prune it, fertilize it, pull it out by the roots and start over if you need. Today is a new day, a blank slate if you will. If you are looking for some instructions for your life garden, try reading the Bible from cover to cover. It is the best instruction manual for life I have found. Have an awesome day!!