Every evening, right before dusk, a family of bluebirds flits over from wherever they’ve been all day into our backyard to eat dinner. Mom, dad, and fledglings perch on top of Audrey’s swing-set to eat after pecking around in the garden.
There’s also some purple finches and last night I was surprised by an American Goldfinch right outside the back door.
And then there’s Baby BunBun. We have one very small bunny living under our shed, and he pops out every morning and afternoon to munch on the big weeds we need to trim down. One morning he had the zoomies and I watched in delight as he raced around the garden like a little fool for absolutely no reason whatsoever. He is the cutest and I really hope the hawks don’t find him.
Up until a couple months ago, I hardly ever went into our backyard, let alone spent any time gazing out the back door to see what activities were going on. We haven’t gotten around to making it an oasis yet, though we hope to. It’s where both the dogs and Ben do their business, although Ben’s business is chopping wood and building all the things.
But for my birthday this year, I asked Ben to help me fence in a small corner of the backyard for a vegetable garden. We secured garden fencing to posts and Ben built me a sturdy wooden gate after returning the flimsy one he’d bought at Lowe’s. We tilled our garden squares and covered them with a mix of soil, compost, peat moss, and vermiculite. We planted the seedlings I’d been growing indoors alongside a few more mature plants I picked up at a local garden/produce stand.
And now? I’m in the backyard every single day.
I go out every morning, hauling a full watering can and pulling any baby weeds that are trying to establish themselves in the garden beds. I have delighted to see some plants growing and flourishing, and reluctantly pulled the ones that just weren’t doing anything, choosing instead to use that space for a new seed that might thrive. I’ve dealt with yuck on my tomato plant leaves. I’ve mixed organic bug sprays and yuck treatment. I’ve smiled to see the yuck disappear and small yellow flowers blossom. I’ve marveled at how quickly bush beans sprout and grow. I’ve painted rocks to look like strawberries so the birds will think my strawberries are terrible and leave them alone.
My backyard isn’t going to be featured in Homes and Gardens anytime soon. We still have lots of work to do. But there is beauty there, first of all because God’s creation is marvelous and secondly because we have been cultivating the land. The flowers bring the insects, which bring the birds and apparently one little toad who has hopped out from underfoot twice, barely escaping with his life.
I’m invested, and now I notice all the things I’ve never seen before, both wonderful and maybe not-so-much (I’m looking at you, squirrels!).
I think it’s the same way with other things in life, too. The little church plant I’m apart of comes to mind. We’ve come to love the families we’ve met over the last couple years. We’ve developed a heart to reach out to the community in Lakeside and we’ve rejoiced when new people come in and stick around. We’ve labored together. We’ve had some endeavors work out great; others, not so much. We’ve grown together. We’ve seen each other’s sin. We’ve walked together through joy and sorrow.
People can be invested in so many different things, and as long as those things are not evil, beauty and good will always follow love and labor. God has given us so many avenues of work, and creativity, and joy; so many wonderful endeavors to undertake; so many people to love! Of course, in a fallen world, predators don’t take a day off. So we have to be on guard to protect that which God has called us to. And we always have to look out for poo. But don’t let that stop you! Get out there; get dirty, and marvel in the goodness of God’s creation.
Where are you invested?