Get your hands dirty - Catholic Courier

Get your hands dirty

I am always on the lookout for ways to start conversations that can lead into deep discussions. One way I have used to draw our children into this kind of conversation is to “get dirty” in the garden. Gardening can be an experience that leads to talks on many topics. I usually think of this in the spring, when summer stretches out before us.

This summer, our family has not spent much time in our garden. The garden was looking very overgrown. I recently spent time cleaning it up and weeding it. This made me realize that the late summer and fall can be a great time to garden and have gardening conversations with children.

Weeding gives us an opportunity to talk about how we define things. What makes a plant a weed? Are weeds always bad or do they sometimes have value? Or weeding can give us a chance to talk about sin. Why is it important to make sure to get all of the roots of a weed?

Finding a plant that has overgrown its space or traveled to the “wrong” space can lead to talking about pruning and repositioning. How does it help a plant to cut it back? Why don’t we just let a plant come up wherever a seed happens to land?

Having dirty hands or knees or clothes can remind us of the story of how we were made. God took ordinary dirt and breathed life into it. How can we work with God to bring life into the world?

Planting fall bulbs can give us a chance to talk about the flowers that are hidden inside the bulb and about the gifts that are hidden inside of each of us.

These are just a few of the conversations you can have with your child while gardening.

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