Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Fig Tree in the Courtyard of Eden



The first year of our marriage, my husband took me to church hoping to settle some questions that had arisen in our relationship, which it did, but it also opened a Pandora's Box of questions. Questions like, who is the statue of the women in the corner? Why does everybody repeat the same prayer in unison? What is a bird bath doing at the entrance (no kidding?) Well, twenty-four years later I'm still full of questions, to my Husbands dismay. Now his well rehearsed response to everything is "that's a good question." He no longer feels compelled to answer my inquiries, which I actually never expected in the first place...I was just thinking aloud like any good philosopher.

Moving to Texas has generated, not surprisingly, more questions. Why do certain cars have "Ben Hur chariot" style hub caps. Why do people live in such big houses that just have to be air-conditioned 6 months out of the year? Why is there so much grass in a place so hot and prone to drought. In response to that last observation, I've decided not to plant grass in the backyard of the new house. Instead we'll create a courtyard garden with lots of brick, lots of plants, flowers and shrubs, and enough trees to provide shade from the heat and fruit trees to make me happy and, of course, an area with a gas hookup for Husband's grill. I've done my homework and have an exhaustive list of heat tolerant and drought resistant stuff.

I love figs and they grow tremendously well in Texas. Funny thing is that I never had one until I was in my 40s. Until then I thought, like others from my generation, that they were some sort of man-made candy filling for cookies. I came across an article that gave a bit of history of the fig in North America.  A fig tree seems a perfect fit to my Garden of Eden, or should I say my Courtyard of Eden. Gardening is one of my passions, I always get the sense of being close to God with my hands in the earth and seven long years without my own plot of soil has required great patience but, Lord willing, my wait will be over this fall and I can get back to working in my garden with God.