A Meditation in the Soil

It’s November, and so mild that I can still get out and work in the garden. This was my first year really gardening and I am pretty satisfied with the results overall, especially considering that I basically abandoned it midway through to the weeds and dry spells.

my garden at the height of summer

my garden before I abandoned it to the heat and weeds

I love working in the garden. Well, except when it’s hot. Then I wish I had a cave to hibernate through the summer and emerge in the Fall to play in the cold. I know. I probably shouldn’t ever have any high hopes for my garden at this rate!

Moments in the garden are revelatory: I understand God and His creation so much better there. I see so many microcosms of society and relationships, allegories and metaphors to life in the soil. Today’s task was turning the soil over in preparation for a winter rest and spring planting, which is definitely more than a day’s work.

It is often while in the garden, my thoughts drift to considering how simple life is really, and how NFP just makes sense on a natural level. It made me think that perhaps gardeners and farmers should understand natural family planning particularly well. They must always be considering the future of their soil and equipment while dealing with today’s planting or harvesting, and so that care guides their sustainability practices.

Natural family planning is a lot like gardening: with an eye to the future, we make decisions based on the current needs of our family. We are more cognizant of the way we treat our body, which for women often means seeing an improvement in our cycles (i.e. improved health improves cycle regularities). We refrain from practices that disrespect our body or that of our spouse. We refuse medications that harm our reproductive health and the overall health of our body, and we do this because we are looking at the long term.

Tracking and planning around the intricate rhythms of the reproductive cycle is like tending a garden. It’s not a perfect analogy, but hopefully you get the picture. Although today I realized NFP charting is much easier than tending the soil!

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