Harvest Comes at the End of the Season

Even though we’re back in school and everyone is looking forward to all things autumn and pumkiny, our garden is still in the height of harvest season. We planted our veggies at the end of May and spent most of the summer watering and watching our plants grow. We have volunteer spaghetti squash from last year (or from the compost – who knows?) and we have an abundance of cucumbers and tomatoes. Our squash had an ok year and our green peppers were the best we’ve ever seen.

chad-stembridge-96380-unsplash
Photo by Chad Stembridge on Unsplash

I always get antsy for our harvest in mid-July. The plants are big and leafy but we get very few vegetables. Maybe a zucchini or yellow squash, but nothing impressive. Not yet. I always have to remind myself that the harvest really happens in August and into September. In fact, by the end of September, many tomatoes wither on the vine because we’re already moving on to more wintery recipes. (I know this makes us terrible farmers but it’s true every year.)

We’re three full weeks into our second year at our walkable neighborhood school. First graders still need a parent to pick them up and, even though this sometimes conflicts with Elle’s afternoon rest, I don’t mind carrying a sleepy preschooler to pick up her sister each day. These twice-daily treks to school have become a ritual of community that I would miss if we drove or if Bea rode the bus.

The faculty knows us and always say hello. We greet parents who are new friends and wave and connect with those we knew from last year. We walk home with a group of latch-key kids I’m getting to know better and yesterday I sent a note home with one of those girls, asking her mom to text about a play date.

Women from my Family Literacy group who have moved up due to language gains stop me, saying they wish they were in the beginner class so we could still see each other. Bea’s best friend’s mom joined Family Literacy and we got together last Saturday for henna.

IMG_0605If last year was for starting small roots in new soil, this year is seeing the shoots come up from our work. I don’t think we’re even into the leafy stage yet but I’m starting to see the results of our seeds. Last year, I was so excited about our new school and all we experienced that first year. Our kindergarten teacher was incredible! I made friends through Family Literacy! It was feeling like home.

And just shy of a month in, I’m amazed at how much deeper these relationships are growing. Even our new friendships feel deeper somehow, knowing we’ve been here a year and we’re committed for the next seven or so years as our girls progress.

Someone recently said that the word season is an overused term, especially in Christian culture, but as I watch our garden flourish, even when I’m ready to wind down and move into a cozier place, I can’t think of a more apt comparison.

We have planted seeds and are watching them poke out of the soil. I’m remembering that planting takes time, that vegetables don’t ripen until the very end of summer, and that our bounty gets us ready for a new season entirely.

I’m remembering, as we transition and make space with one foot in this new community and one still firmly in our preschool community, that I most likely won’t see the actual fruits of the intentional relationships we’re making for quite some time. Friendships take time and cultivation and community doesn’t happen quickly – no matter how I wish it would.

I’m learning to enjoy this space. To look at my plants with pride and anticipation of the fruits they will bear. I know not to rush things but to walk gently through the process.

What overused metaphor do you love for your life? Are you a gardener? How do you handle waiting for your harvest? 

30 thoughts on “Harvest Comes at the End of the Season

  1. Hi Annie, thanks for the reminder that everything takes time and that if we do not lose heart, we will surely reap. Everything happens in its season, in due time. Like you said, let’s just enjoy the process and enjoy the now moment with God in our lives.

  2. I am a “pseudo” gardener, if that is even a thing. We have a small, raised bed and planted ONE tomato plant, ONE Rosemary herb, ONE basil, and ONE other thing I can’t remember at the moment (ha ha). So yeah, I get the overused metaphor, but it is a timeless one. Jesus often referred to planting seeds and the harvest and such because of the lasting messages that these things speak to—the heart.

    I am glad you are connecting to your local community. Heaven knows we need more of that! There are too many lonely people out there, and too many of us don’t even know our next door neighbors. So you are doing good things! May God bless you with a deeper understanding of the seeds you plant. Thanks for the post!

    1. Ha – I guess overused metaphors are used for a reason. 😉 Your garden sounds like the perfect pizza garden! I’m thankful for all the ways God is reminding me to relax and trust the good work of community building.

  3. Oh my. I’m jealous of your gardening skills. I tried a garden this year and the deer trampled my poor attempt at a fence and ate all my food! I love how you tie growing the garden to growing relationships. It’s good to remember that sometimes growth is slower than we’d like. Thank you for that reminder.

    1. Well… We’ve been gardening for a while! 😉 When I was in college I worked on an organic farm and pulled all the carrots when I was supposed to be weeding them – oops! I love the reminders about God’s nature I learn when I pause and dig into the soil.

  4. I love fresh garden veggies especially tomatoes. I tried garden but I get busy and forget and then things die for lack of care/water. I did plant a fig tree a few years back and I live watching it bud and fruit in early fall so I relate to the waiting. Garden and friendship take time and nurturing especially when we are trying to share Jesus with others. We must wait on the Lord for the time to harvest.

    1. Fresh tomatoes are definitely a favorite! Our girls will eat them right off the vine but refuse to eat store-bought. (I can’t really blame them…) There’s something so relieving about knowing that everything is in God’s perfect time – that I can’t rush it myself.

  5. I love the idea of seasons in the life of a Christian. We can’t stand still in life. We are constantly moving through the seasons of our journeys. There is always new fruit to anticipate. God bless!

  6. Amazing analogy, Annie. I love the term “season,” even Scripture references it. And nourishing relationships in community and intentional planting and sowing is a beautiful picture of how we are meant to do life with others…just as Jesus did. 🙂

    1. Right? If Jesus used it, it can’t be overused… 😉 I love the idea that things take time and there will be times of plenty and times of waiting. I need those tangible reminders.

  7. I am not a gardener… at all. My overused metephore is God can turn our mess into His message. Because I sure am a hot mess. I am so thankful for Jesus!

  8. Great thoughts on not giving up and being patient. Reminds me of Galatians 69 which says “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

  9. Can “season” really be overused? I think it’s essential – a core principle to keep in mind. We want instant results, but that’s unreasonable and out of kilter with how the Lord set up this world to work. I love your post because it’s a reminder to me of a previous season of childrearing, and also an encouragement to wait for the fruit of this current season as we watch our crop flourish and also reproduce.

    1. Melinda, this is what I love about knowing moms who are farther along on the journey. It’s a reminder to slow down and really take in these moments. I’m learning that the fruit of these little years will take time… and that’s good.

      1. Yes, everything takes so much time. And some days feel like they last forever, but, oddly, when you look back it feels like it went so fast! We learn patience from this entire process. And we truly live the process of sowing and reaping.

  10. There’s a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3).

    I’m not a gardener. My father has a big farm back in the Philippines, so I’m used to helping with all aspects of farming. Here in Greenland where we live, I only engage in some window planting, one eggplant, one tomato-plant, both are about to give up since summer is about to finish here 🙂

    With love!
    Edna Davidsen

  11. There’s a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3).

    I’m not a gardener. My father has a big farm back in the Philippines, so I’m used to helping with all aspects of farming. Here in Greenland where we live, I only engage in some window planting, one eggplant, one tomato-plant, both are about to give up since summer is about to finish here 🙂

    With love!
    Edna Davidsen

  12. In my yard I give plants a place to live and thrive, but I’m not so hot at cultivating and tending to them. That gives me something to think about in my real life, a.k.a., family life with those whom God has put in my care. Thank you for this metaphor.

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