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The Bounty of Summer

In the first weeks of July, we start to see the riches that the earth has given us in the form of beautiful color and the first pickings of our harvest. Today I had the luxury of spending the day with female family members having lunch in my garden with a few vegetables gleaned from our garden and then heading out to the nearby lavender fields. There is something magical about looking out over row after row of blooming lavender. The bees all tending to their work as we cut the stems from the lavender plants. Adding to that, the joy of laughing and sharing time with some of my favorite people.

In days gone by, our ancestors knew that if they didn’t work hard to plant and then gather a bountiful harvest that they would not be able to feed their families and so the women of the household were tasked with the gathering and preparation of that harvest. I was raised by my grandmother who was a farmer and so I was able to learn from her about the importance of raising our own food. We not only had a sizeable garden on our own property, but spent almost every weekend at my aunt and uncles house which held an additional large garden. We pulled weeds continuously and watched as our crops grew and yielded the life giving nutrition our bodies needed.

Later in life, my daughter and I would have small get-togethers with my aunt to pick apples from our trees and make apple pies. And nothing is more satisfying than a backyard cookout featuring our own fruits and vegetables. It is these times that memories are made and today was a page in that book. Today brought back the joy of gathering over the bounty of summer.

If you have never had the joy of tending to plant life and watching it grow and bear fruit, I encourage you to do so. There is much stress relief in gardening and plenty of satisfaction in being able to enjoy that harvest. Whether it is fruits or vegetables, cuttings of flowers or herbs that are dried-learning to garden has a host of rewards. Also making for great memories when shared with others.

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