Today’s reflection is the fourth in a series by Debra Donnelly-Barton. Debra continues to inspire with these “Litany of the Living Earth” reflections. She has presented several retreats at our Center and we look forward to hosting her again in the future. Let’s take a few quiet moments to read about her lessons from the garden.

A Liturgy of the Living EarthDebra Barton, spiritual lesson

Praying the hours in tune with nature

Summer Meditations, 2020

Sabbath, Mustard Seeds and Zucchini

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” ~ Matthew 13

The kingdom of heaven is on the move. It is growing and it is useful and it is home. What may seem to be small or obscure has the potential to be everything and everywhere.

I am witnessing this kind of prolific growth in my own backyard this summer. I planted small zucchini seeds in my new raised beds. I most likely planted too many and was reluctant to thin them. Delicate cotyledons appeared and were adorable. I just couldn’t pluck them up.

Then…before I knew it these baby plants had turned into adolescents and were well on their way to filling the entire bed pushing out eggplants and tomatoes. Now…I have plants as wide as the bed—almost as tall as I am—reaching upward and outward in all directions.

And…they are producing large zucchini and patty pan squash. However, this is not a story of too many squash; this is a story of the miracle of growth. When I stand near my plants they are alive with the vibrations of increase. I can almost hear the water in their veins and the clamor of their expanding stems.

The kingdom of heaven is like a small seed that grows and grows and grows and makes space for others to come and live within it. We cultivate this kingdom when we pay attention to the small seeds we are invited to plant.  Perhaps it is a kind word or action that finally reaches the heart. Or maybe we recognize the kingdom in another, or even ourselves, and make an effort to nurture what we have seen there.

We are given seeds each day. Let us pay attention to the vision of increase as well.

How shall you sow today? How shall you cultivate today?

How shall you make space today?

Practice:

Read the scripture above. Spend some time in silence. Ponder the seeds you have been given or have planted.  How have you nurtured those seeds? Are you being invited to take more care? To notice what might need to be cultivated in your life now?