This year the garden started out great - everyone had thier own section to work and we got started early. It seemed like this would be the best garden ever but as often happens life was full of strange unexpected twists and turns.
First of all, my husband who has been an outdoors sort of guy all his life found that because of his cancer related issues he was not able to be in the sun at all and he also discovered that he was losing his sight. When natural beauty means a great deal to you it is a hard thing to lose your connection to it. But despite all that we forged ahead and the garden got planted and weeded and even watered as need be. My husband found ways of being outside as much as possible (limited as that might be) and enjoying it more than ever before.
Then the heat and the drought hit. I figured that was it for the garden but amazingly somethings have survived enough to bear quality fruit. The big thing was that no one gave up too quick. We all did what we could even if that meant getting up a little earlier to beat the intense bright glare and the soaring temperatures and I found I was still able to put some vegetables into the freezer and can up some fruits though at a slower pace than normal. Knowing that you have stored up some food for the winter - despite all the odds is a good feeling.
But what really struck me was something my husband said the other day. He said that he feels like a "free man" because he is not afraid of the heat or the drought. We are finding ways to face our challenges and though we may not have a fantastically fruitful harvest still we are free to make the most of what we have. We are free to keep trying. We are free to not give up. We are free to make the most of the situation and we are free of paralyzing fear. In fact, the kids have found ways to enjoy this summer better than any other. The joy of over coming difficult odds is like no other.
So though life can become rather challenging at times we will always think of ourselves as "freemen" because we choose to be free to choose hope and endurance over any odds. I suspect that is what freedom has always been about.