Tuesday has become a fasting day for me. I started this routine with the hope that I would be meditative and more observant of what God is saying to me. One of the most compelling reasons that I continue farming is that I often have spiritual observations while working with the plants.
Tuesday was trellising day. The peas we planted on March 17 are finally up and wanting to climb. Their tendrils are reaching out, ready to attach. Trellises are expensive structures to purchase, particularly for our rows and rows of peas, cucumbers, pole beans and tomatoes. I fancy being able to repurpose twigs and limbs and lumber for an ultimately free trellis. My good friend, Angie, is one of these expert, artisanal trellis makers. In the past I have begged for her help, and it is as if she swoops in and creates these amazing structures. So, I know it can be done.
Yesterday, I loaded up my truck with bundled downed limbs from Tom’s house, rescued bamboo from the dumpster and saved twine from past year’s trellises. I was equipped and confident. I had googled “sticks for trellising”. I was fresh, fueled by coffee and water for the task at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
To be truthful, I had already set some bamboo poles the week prior. However, I stopped because I wasn’t confident what I had started was going to work. I decided that stopping and thinking it though a bit more would bring me clarity on how to proceed. I wanted to improve upon what we had tried in years past. My googling while driving produced lovely images but no step by step set of instructions for me to follow.
After working for about 10 minutes, I was saying to myself “I hate trellising”. I love the idea of it. I hate doing it. Cutting the limbs precisely so that I could force them deep into the earth to be strong poles frustrated me. Moving around each pole with twine that was not neatly balled but rather a mess of string, if wound at all from last year, was exasperating. I have six rows of peas that need trellises. This patchy business of building a supportive framework just isn’t for me.
And my thoughts turned toward spiritual support: my own, others. So, I am fasting today, and I am having this observation in the garden. I hate trellising. It isn’t precise, black and white, “do this next” work. You must feel your way thought it. Observe. Reflect. Adjust. Create. Make an environment where delicate seedlings, reaching out, reaching up can connect, latch on and be supported and grow up and be fruitful. And I so desperately want to know how to do it just exactly, precisely, attractively right both with my plants and with people.
Five years have been invested into The Table. People have asked since the first day how we do what we do. It isn’t uncommon to hear from our far reaching supporters that they just don’t get it. People are calling up to ask and coming to Denver to see. I perceive that inquiring minds want to see this work of art trellis woven together by the basic elements of creation (soil, seeds, water, sunlight) that is inspiring neighbors to love Jesus and grasp His grace. For five years we have been giving the same answer. We are facilitating an opportunity for people to experience tangible grace. And today the trellis is messy and ugly in my opinion. What is God saying to me? Go buy a fresh bottle of twine, I mean bottle of wine. I mean ball of twine. Enjoy.