John 15.2: ‘Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit’.
I have come to gardening late in life, but I now love it and try to do a bit each week. It gets me in touch with earth and wildlife, and reminds me that plants grow with or without my help, but that a hand can enable them to flourish. Jesus tells lots of stories about sowing seeds, and what to do about weeds, and gathering harvests: all of them needing gardeners or farmers.
Lent starts in the winter and ends in the spring. As in my garden, it is a time to pay attention to what I have let lie fallow in my spiritual life, and see if I need to add some nourishment before the growing season begins. Just as I enjoy walking around the local park looking for the first crocuses, I try to spend time wandering with God and noticing what parts of my busy life are flowering, what might need pruning, or what needs a bit of fertiliser to bear good fruit. Then I hand it over to God to make it all grow: she is, after all, the giver of life, loving us all into our true flowering.