The Growing Season of Life
by Rev. Kevin Powell
April 01, 2022

The “Old Farmers’ Almanac” is still used by some as a guideline for planting, but today’s world also has vast amounts of information that uses historical trends, computer models, extension guidance, and risk management strategies.

On the one hand, relying on traditional ways of doing things has value. Some people like to plant by the moon, planning so the above-ground crops like melons and beans are planted with the waxing moon, while asparagus, rhubarb, and carrots are planted after the full moon. My own family often was reminded to plant potatoes on Good Friday. Do these things work? I can’t say for certain either way, but I know that these customs link both heaven and earth together.

The alternative to the “Farmer’s Almanac” is to depend on advice from garden experts, the extension service, or crop insurance and seed companies to help us determine what is best. That’s also a bit uncomfortable because it can sometimes feel that we are given an expert opinion that can cause us to second-guess our own judgment.

Since it’s April, my thoughts about these different ways of doing things turn towards my own garden boxes and the pressure on farmers in the area. By now, home gardeners have baby seedlings they have been nurturing under grow lights, and greenhouses around the area are excited to welcome customers. Farmers have been mending their equipment and looking towards that balance point between the earliest allowed planting date (April 11 for corn) and the last possible frost date sometime around the first of May. Fortunately, there are many ways to combine all this information for a successful crop, which allows us to sit back and enjoy the beauty of the growing season.

The more human beings notice the changing of the seasons, the more tuned in we are to the mystery of creation around us. With spring, smells that have been dormant throughout the cold of winter awaken, and the buds and the flowers and the pollen allow us to flood our senses with the possibility of new life. All of this is a way we can see part of the cycle that is life, and our need to experience new life in all of our lives.

In my tradition, this season also signals the start of Holy Week, beginning with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and celebrating the first Eucharist on Maundy Thursday. On Good Friday, we hear about the Passion, where Jesus is arrested, tried, convicted, crucified, died, and laid in a tomb. Saturday night has an Easter Vigil service that begins outside with the rekindling light of a fire, brought into the darkened church, and ends with a proclamation that Jesus has been resurrected. Easter will continue through spring for another 50 days.

Your own faith is also a mix of time-honored advice, experts offering information, and your own wisdom. Like planting, there’s more than one way to do things that will create life and joy in your life. Take time to ask questions and reflect on the beauty of your own growing season this year and during this spring.

Watch PCTV Live

Recent Stories

Get Discover Muscatine in Your Inbox

Select list(s):