Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God
as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…
Have you ever wondered what that must have been like? To be in a garden and hear the sound of the Lord God walking there, coming to talk with you?! I’ve often thought about this verse and wondered how Adam and Eve experienced this. I imagine that God came to walk with them often, in the cool early evening.
I love that hour of the day here in the Algarve, especially at this time of year. We’re having some pretty hot days already and when early evening rolls around and the sun is hanging lazily just above the horizon, there is such a beautiful glow. Everything seems to be colored with a slightly different hue, displaying softer, more muted tones. And the air begins to turn slightly cool – not enough to cause a chill, yet offering sweet reprieve from the afternoon’s heat.
As my challenge for day 13, I decided to get out and weed our fruit and vegetable garden in the cool of the day. We eat late dinners here in Southern Portugal – usually just sitting down at the table somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30 pm; often even later in the Summer. And since in our home, as I’ve already mentioned in previous posts, we are pretty fond of spending long hours savoring our food and talking, I rarely have the energy to get out and work in the yard after our evening meal. But since I’m home alone this month and can schedule my days any way I please, (and have no one to talk to but the dogs and cat at mealtimes), I decided to have an early supper and then give some much-needed attention to the yard.
The previous weeks had brought heavy rains, contributing marvelously towards the abundant growth of all that we had planted and, unfortunately, to the equally prolific population of weeds. Glancing at the patch where our melon plants were growing, I felt somewhat overwhelmed, yet I made my way along the path and through the garden gate, determined to make some headway despite my tiredness.
I squatted down and commenced weeding with an old kitchen knife, quickly realizing that if I continued in that position, I might never stand upright again. “I should’ve brought out a piece of cardboard to sit on in the damp soil,” I thought. I didn’t really feel like returning all the way to the house, so I decided I’d just sit down and get my skirt dirty. I also took off my flip flops so I could position my feet better for the task at hand.
I should tell you that after the beach, the garden is my second “happy place”. There is something that happens in my soul when I begin to dig my fingers into the damp earth. Denny shakes his head at me because I refuse to use garden gloves (and often pay the price, coming in contact with stinging nettles or getting pricked by thorns). But to me, it’s worth the risk. I just love the feel of that cool dirt on my skin, and the scent it releases! Along with the fragrance of all the plants, flowers, even bugs. So soothing.
And there I sat
for two hours straight,
the passage of time.
As I relished the coolness
of the earth between my toes,
I dug them in just a bit deeper…
and my mind drifted back
to that verse.
They heard the sound
of the Lord God as he was
walking in the garden
in the cool of the day.
I knew He was there
with me now,
strolling among the rows
of strawberries and carrots. Admiring the green fruit
on the tomato plants;
the enormous radishes
protruding from the ground.
His peace and grace
wafted over me
in the silent hush of twilight.
I was drawn from my reverie
as I realized
that the last amber rays of the sun
were creeping softly over the horizon and nightfall was imminent.
I gathered my bucket of weeds
and my knife,
gave my toes one last wiggle in the soil and headed off for the house,
content and refreshed.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.