July 18, 2015

A Soul Searching Summer - by Gloria Guest

This month’s blog post completely snuck up on me so I suppose that is an indicator of how my summer writing has been; pretty much non-existent.

 My writing is going through a dry spell; as parched as the seasons of spring and summer have been on the prairies this year.

 I’ve watched the clouds build, promising rain, only to watch them pass over. We were also under a watering restriction so grass was crispy brown within a week, amidst climbing temperatures.

But in spite of it I was not to be deterred from attempting to grow a small garden. I don’t lay claim to a green thumb but I grew up with a mother that did; her gardens, wherever we lived, were remarkable and fed our family of six throughout the winter months. To this day, all I have to do is plant one small seed and I am immediately transported back to my childhood, my mother bent over her plants while we children played hide and seek in the abundant rows of towering corn stalks. In later years, I wasn’t quite so appreciative of her efforts when I spent many summer mornings picking row after row of peas and beans and then long afternoons shelling and snapping.  But the knowledge that once winter hit I would enjoy the delicious produce kept me motivated; the best was yet to come.

As summer has moved on and I continued to struggle with my garden, I started to pay attention to the similarities between my garden and my writing. It made for some good soul searching and I realized that there are four very key similarities between the two.

Water – Just as my garden needed life giving water so too does my writing. With my garden I found myself limited in a good supply of water by the drought and watering restrictions. So too I can quickly find my writing well run dry when I don’t go to the source; the One who gave me the gift in the first place. I have had to admit that this has been an area of neglect. And the result has been a shrunken, dried up, rather sparce looking garden in my soul.

Weed – I have always detested weeding and avoided it as often as possible. It shows. Often the weeds have grown too big and overtaken the plants, shrinking their growth potential and sometimes even killing the plants. Once again I have had to admit that there are some weeds in my soul’s garden that I haven’t taken care of. I’ve let them grow and now they aren’t so easy to deal with, some of them have even begun to choke out my writing; attitudes and other negative traits have overtaken. Thankfully when we ask God for help we don’t have to do it ourselves; with His help I have been given some insight into why some of those weeds are there and just how deep the roots go. They won’t be easy to pull; but God and I at least have a grasp on them now. I am determined that they will be rooted out of my soul.

Repeat- Gardens take consistent work; watering and weeding over and over. The same is true of my writing. Just as I found the time each evening to water my garden and to start the weeding process I must do the same in my own life and in my writing. I need to water my writing and life regularly with time with God and regularly weed any attitudes that threaten to choke out the words God wants to share through me.

Reap- Eventually, if I persevere I will reap a harvest. Even though my garden is small and humble in comparison to my mother’s I hope to receive a few vegetables for my efforts. And they will surely taste sweeter for the effort.

My writing is small in comparison to many others, but I am only responsible for the plot that God has given me. In time, if I am faithful, He may choose to expand my space.

It truly has been a soul searching summer; one that is not yet finished. So for now I choose to garden and write on; watering, weeding, repeating and one day reaping. I look forward to the sweet taste of success.

The best is yet to come.


  1. Hi Gloria! I've never thought of writing in the same vein as gardening, but you put it all into perspective. Thank you for your beautifully written post.

  2. I'm so glad you didn't just let the day go by, but chose to post anyway, even if late. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  3. Thanks Marnie. I was tempted to let it go but then that is all part of those 'attitudes' that I need to deal with so chose to write 'something.'

  4. Thanks Gloria, I can see many life and writing comparisons with gardening, but I do realize also, we are not our mothers, and circumstances are different for each of us. Wishing gentle showers to come your way and replenish the soil.

  5. I appreciate your honest, humble, and thus inspiring writing. I love your analogy of writing as spiritual growth just as gardening is the realm of physical growth. This is indeed apt and appropriate for me as well. Thank you.

  6. What a beautiful comparison: writing and gardening. My Mom too is a green thumb and I grew up helping wit a large garden. Reaping definitely made the sowing and watering and weeding worth it. I pray you will find that in your writing--may we all.

  7. Good for you, Gloria, of finding so much wisdom in some unpleasant gardening tasks of the heart. A lovely description of your inner thoughts!


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