My Sabbath Garden

| 1/21/2013 4:07:34 PM

Tags: Sabbath, Shabbat, day of rest, 39 prohibited Sabbath activities, mental health, garden maintenance, Nan K. Chase, Nan Chase,

Do you give yourself a break from the garden every week? Do you give the garden a break? Or has garden work taken over your life, as it used to do mine.

The way I see it, there's a law against that kind of overzealous gardening: ancient Jewish law, as it turns out, which forbids any kind of garden or farm activity one day a week, every week. For me, for other Jewish gardeners, that day is Saturday, but any gardener, no matter where and no matter what persuasion (or none at all), might give this amazing and unexpectedly rich experience a try.

One day a week of no gardening, just being…being…in the garden, with the garden, and among the living creatures and the plants.

  a sabbath caterpillar 

What happens when you're not allowed to pull a weed or deadhead a spent blossom, not allowed to mow the lawn or prune the shrubs or spread compost, not allowed to cut a flower stem or harvest a peach one whole day a week? I'll tell you: you start to see more and more in the garden that you miss in the everyday rush of "getting it done," things like individual grains of pollen, or droplets of dew just before they evaporate. Colors become more intense. Raindrops become shimmering pools of beauty and not a nuisance.

 a sabbath grape 

10/20/2014 6:00:29 PM

Karina Koenig-Johnson
1/29/2013 7:59:56 AM

I must admit, when I set out to sit in the garden and just enjoy it, I will see a branch that needs tweaking, or a weed that needs pulling, but I do love the garden and the allotment, and I do see God's creation and love him for it!

1/28/2013 11:55:49 PM


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