Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.
During the past two weeks in Great Britain, Dan and I have slowed down from our usual busy routine to simply experience a different part of the world and meet new people who have been astonishingly warm and welcoming.
We are also very aware this vacation is about to end next week.
Yesterday we spent over an hour driving lost downtown in the city of Edinburgh, thwarted by torn up closed off streets under construction and a GPS that wanted to send us through barriers to get to our destination. It was a jarring jerk back to the hubbub of the urban life after days of wandering peaceably in the countryside. It took all our patience to not get frustrated at what was beyond our control.
When we finally got settled last night, we went for a long walk on the city streets and found grace in little patches of garden along the way. The honeysuckle could be smelled before it was seen, its perfume wafting out over the sidewalk to remind busy and distracted passersby there is good reason to slow down and breathe.
Today we head out to experience this city and its history before returning to the countryside and heading home to our routine.
The garden will be the first place I’ll be, priorities adjusted and my life changed.