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I’ve been all kinds of out of sorts and off track the past two weeks.

When I tilted the watering can over the vegetable garden early this afternoon, I silently loathed the three-by-six-foot space. Learning last week that I’d completely missed the window for planting squash didn’t help.

Never mind this was my first time gardening and I’d been learning largely by making mistakes. I wanted all that digging and watering and pruning to pay off!

I saw some carrot tops sticking out of the ground and bent to pull one out. From all I’ve read, my carrots should have matured months ago. I’d resigned myself to stubby carrots but held out in hopes I may be surprised.

Sure enough, another one-inch nub appeared.

I gently tugged at a second carrot, figuring I may as well harvest all of them. This time, the carrot kept coming and a five-inch monster reared its glorious head. Satisfaction brimmed forth as the length of the carrot slowly emerged.

carrot nubsfive-inch monster carrotfive-inch carrot

My now-somewhat-regenerated love of gardening prompted me to tidy the bed a bit more. I removed a few blackberries that had taken a precarious head dive into the garden and noticed more hidden between vegetables, chiding me for how long it had been since I’d harvested.

I looked up to see a bounty still on the vine, awaiting my eager fingertips. I plucked the berries one by one, life bubbling up inside to remind me of why berries and carrots have anything to do with love and joy and hope.

I’d been so busy even in this season of resting, I’d stopped soaking my own roots in truth and joy until eventually I stopped caring about the plants’ roots too.

I’d forgotten where all the baking and jamming, the canning and cleaning, the battle of fruit flies and thorny wounds began. In the garden, in this unexpected place of healing.

colorful harvestgarden bounty