A Winter Feeling
This year’s Easter message from our blog was written in April 1982 by Edith Ridge, a much-loved past member of Australian Church Women (ACW).
‘A few weeks ago a member of my congregation came to look at my garden. Now retired, Jack has been a gardener for all his professional life and he knows and loves trees and plants. He had come to look at some favourite rose bushes with the idea of cutting slips for striking new plants for me to take when I move house at the end of this year.
‘In the spring I have a very pretty garden of flowering bulbs and azaleas, but the very hot and dry inland summer that we experience in Canberra makes it a struggle to keep things alive. My family holidays over December and January, just when a summer garden needs constant care, so I'm afraid that I felt very embarrassed when Jack came to visit me. I made excuses about the neglected state of the beds and then added “Anyway, I'm tired of the garden. I'm planting nothing else before I leave here. Someone will only dig up my special things or let them die after I've moved. I'm tired of the garden.”
‘This ungracious grumble to someone who had come to do me a favour drew from Jack the quiet assertion “When you're tired of the garden, you're tired of life.”
‘This gentle rebuke hit home and I looked at myself to find out why I was feeling so out-of-sorts with people and with God's world. I didn't have far to look, for the disquiet was within myself for a variety of reasons. But since then, I have given some thought to gardens and the influence that they have on our lives. Gardens feature a lot in the literature of our culture and in the Bible.
‘“A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot[!]” we learnt at school. “One is nearer God's heart in a garden than any place else on earth.”
‘It was a garden where God liked to walk in the cool of the day. Jesus went to a garden to pray and the tomb where His body was placed was in a garden.’
‘Very soon now, my untidy garden will be hidden by the leaves that fall from the trees. We will leave the leaves there as a protective cover against the hard frosts that the winter will bring. Everything will rest through the cold months. All through the winter I look forward to the spring burgeoning of trees and plants.
‘We often find ourselves disgruntled and dissatisfied during the winters of our lives and we lash out “I'm tired of this and that or those people .. I'm tired of life!” During Lent this year, I am trying to imagine the despair that Jesus' friends must have felt when He was taken from them .. what a winter feeling. But at Easter time the miracle of new birth will burst forth again like a garden in the spring.
‘“Behold, I make all things new.”
“Do not seek for Him among the dead. He is risen. He is alive forever more.” HALLELUJAH!!
President of A.C.T. Unit.’
By Thomas Edward Brown
(5 May 1830–29 October 1897)
A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot! Rose plot, Fringed pool, Ferned grot, The veriest school Of peace; and yet the fool Contends that God is not, Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool? Nay, but I have a sign; 'Tis very sure God walks in mine.
Public Domain Poem