17 July 2012

Fruit Explosion

After weeks of dry heat we've been treated to a week of steady rain. We needed it. My lawn was the brownest I have ever seen it so the week of rain is bringing it back to life. During the dry spell most of my neighbors lost their gardens. The heat of the sun and the abundance of rabbits turned victory gardens into dust bowls. In Kentucky, people depend on God to send the rain to keep their vegetable gardens alive long enough to harvest. I cheated. I used a soaker hose to keep my three tomato plants, egg plant, bell pepper and chard alive. I couldn't afford to water every day but I did water enough to keep them growing.

I was very happy to have the rain come but I knew that it would cause me some gardener's grief and not just in the plethora of weeds that would ensue. I have always had veggies growing in a garden and in California they grew with little or no fuss. You stick them in the ground and know that every couple of days you will probably have to turn the hose on and soak them. They like well drained soil. Here in Kentucky, even though my veggies are in a raised bed, when it rains several inches without respite, the tomatoes drink too much water and then explode. Seriously. The meat of the fruit expands and the skin can't keep up. They rip open wide. That's what I found in my garden. The tomatoes I have protected from drought, bugs and bunnies were ripening beautifully until they drank too much and spilled their guts out on the garden floor.

I also found my dahlias were growing in a horizontal fashion. The soil couldn't hold them upright. The wind started the lean and gravity finished it. They were valiantly trying to bloom in their recumbent position but the flowers were rotting on the wet soil. The few gladiolas that survived the rabbits jaws also prostrated themselves. The weeds had begun their reclamation project. I am overwhelmed with the work that needs to be done to put things right. Each morning I will have to go out and pull what weeds I can until the rain comes again or the soil is too dry to let loose of the roots.
I spent an hour out there this morning and that is 45 minutes more than my body thought reasonable.

I knew I would pay for the overtime in the garden with muscle spasms and a migraine. I hoped I wouldn't but I knew I would. It was a calculated risk. I thought about correlations between God's blessings and the rain. We all want to be blessed more abundantly. We want God to shower us every day, all day. I wonder if we are like tomatoes. I wonder if God really showered us the way we want would it be too much for us? Would we explode like tomatoes? If I had daily watered the tomatoes with the intensity they received during the storms, would they have been better able to handle it and not exploded? Would they have died from water logged roots? Is there some sort of Christian allegory here?

That's how 15 minutes becomes an hour. Jumping from thought to thought, trying on answers to questions I didn't know I had. The biggest question for me is this: This side of heaven, are we equipped to deal with God's abundant blessings? Does He have to give us teeny tiny blessings to keep us from exploding? I dunno. It would seem there would be something in Scripture about it if it was a problem. Are fruit explosions a good thing in God's economy? I haven't a clue.

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