Yesterday, as I spent a summer afternoon in a garden picking green beans, I thought of the long, hot days I spent working in a garden while in the FLDS. In those days, there wasn’t much pleasure in being out in the fields, and I remember wishing I would somehow magically appear at the end of the long garden rows with all the weeding and picking done.
In that garden, there was no safe place, only the scared franticness of knowing you could never relax; no feeling of plentitude, only the weight of a desperate and panicked hope that we would have enough food to survive the destructions.
“Surely, they could fall upon us before dawn, and this might be my the last time in the garden”, I thought. “I must pick faster; I must hurry if I want a chance to survive.”
Tonight, as evening descended, the garden became more tranquil and still, the skies painted with magnificent color in shades of blues and pinks. There was no fear, no panic; even nature stopped to take a deep breath in the form of a cool, minty breeze. I felt grateful, and also sad. Sad that so much of the awe and wonder of life was robbed from people like mine; grateful to have found that today, the garden is a place of peace, abundance; a quiet space to be with my humanity.
And while I used to wish to be at the end of the garden rows as quickly as possible, tonight I found myself taking my time, quietly enjoying the process, secretly wishing the rows were a little longer.