“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
–Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities
Today, my son and I ventured over to the Beaverton Giving Gardens again. And like all good gardens in autumn, there was plenty to harvest. Tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers were ripe and ready. Treasures each, hidden amongst the foliage waiting to be found.
This was the best of times. It soon was the worst of times.
If harvesting is finding treasure, digging is what you have to do to get to the treasure in the first place.
And dig we did.
Half a dozen men and boys gathered around a grass-filled patch of clay blistering our hands on wooden handled shovels which clanged off the hard ground. Scoops often came up empty as the unrelenting ground resisted our attempts to turn this patch of earth into productive garden space. The sun blistered our necks and sweat rolled from our faces. It was miserable.
All those tomatoes we harvested were grown on earth that had been dug and tilled. The plants were nurtured and watered.
As I pass through this year of giving, I realize that every minute I give is like a shovel of dirt being dug. Each scoop seemingly insignificant, but the garden plot I am creating has already started to yield treasure in the friendships I am making, the lessons I teach my kids, and the connections I am forging.
At times it does feel like the worst of times. But it is also the best of times.
(And yes, someone finally went and got a rototiller.)