As wonderful as that is, the physical nourishment is really more of a bonus. I need the garden for spiritual food. In a sterilized, alienated, technocratic age, the garden is soul-therapy. It enables me to gorge myself on life and hope and that decadent late-summer fecundity. It gives me glimpses of God’s grandeur, flaming out “like shining from shook foil.” Watching the tomato jungle come into its own each year, I am encouraged and cheered by the reminder that, for all the heaviness of our benighted age, nature is never spent, and that dearest freshness remains deep down.
We owe it to ourselves to enjoy these respites from the chaos and despair of modern life. When God seems impossibly far away, check the vegetable patch. I often find him lingering among the rainbow chard.
Rachel Luteaches philosophy at the University of St. Thomas and writes for Crisis Magazine and The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @rclu.