Back to the Garden:
Reverence Sown with Each Seed
Monica Stone, LifeWays Cook
Earth who gives to us this food
Sun who makes it ripe and good
Sun above and earth below
To you our loving thanks we show
Blessings on our meal
And peace on earth.
At LifeWays, we sing these words to give thanks for the nourishment we receive at each meal. It not only teaches children to appreciate the delicious array of food before them, but to show reverence for their relationship to the natural world. This song of grace draws an important connection from the dinner plate to the earth, a connection that often goes unrecognized in today’s society. With the ever increasing bombardment of over-processed, unnatural foods, it is easy to lose sight of where such things derive. I believe that it is important for every child to understand that fruits and vegetables do not sprout from cans, or even magically appear in the aisles of a grocery store, but begins its life in the soil.
The LifeWays garden plays an integral part in allowing children to see and experience first hand the wonderful process of growing food. After afternoon snack, the children are always excited to take the day’s food scraps out to the heaping compost pile. It lets them witness the full cycle of the garden and instills a sense of environmental stewardship. This year they will each have the opportunity to plant their own seeds, observe the garden as it grows into a bountiful harvest, and of course eat the fresh, organic produce that they have sown.
When we come together at the table and sing our song of grace, my hope is for each child to feel a deeper connection to the food they are about to enjoy. When the children sing “Earth who gives to us this food”, I hope they picture the beautiful garden they helped to grow. And lastly, I hope each child feels reverence for the relationship they hold with the natural environment.