Some weeks ago a friend visited us while we were putting in berry canes. It was one of the first beautiful weekends of spring, warm and bright enough to wear my big straw sun hat. My friend kept us company, and lent a hand, as we tilled a patch of soil, dug trenches, seated fifteen berry canes, and covered the bed with fresh cedar mulch from a nursery down the road.
The canes didn't look like much, I have to admit. Sticks with rootballs. The two types of raspberries, and the handful of blackberries, looked and felt slightly different -- some greenish, some reddish, some thornier than others. Even so, they hardly inspired confidence, with their wispy beards and their truncated tops. But they'd come from the same berry farm where we got the blueberries we put in two years ago, and we trust the berry farm.
This afternoon I weeded the area around the berry canes, now bursting with new leaves. When we planted the blueberries, I wrote about how gardening wakes my sense of wonder, and my sense of faith. That's still true. Once again the combination of sweat and intention, labor and mindfulness -- seasoned with something ineffable -- has worked wonders.
As I was pulling goldenrod shoots in the berry patch today, the friend who helped us plant the canes was ordained a rabbi. Sweat and intention, labor, mindfulness, and the ineffable have led her to the cusp of something amazing and new. All of that hard work is finally going to bear fruit.
My prayer for her is this: wherever you are planted, may you flourish! May your roots in the tradition grow deep, and always find water. May you always be able to go dormant when you need to, to wake with gratitude, and to draw sustenance from the Source Who enlightens and enlivens all. And hey, thanks for helping us plant. I look forward to eventually harvesting some fruit of my own.