There are lessons of life and death to learn in the garden. I think perhaps this is the reason why God set men and women to gardening (Gen 2:15). Plants put their roots into the soil, and when those plants die, the roots are fed on by various forms of life, and provide aeration for the soil, where water can feed the next season’s growth. The insects, worms, and fungi who live in the soil also die, their bodies becoming nutrients for future generations. Understood from one angle, living soil is a graveyard. Centuries upon centuries of death build the soil and make it fertile.
The Garden is a Playground
But the garden is also a playground. Insects and birds dance among the yellow, white, purple, and red flowers, and insects wrestle below. The gardener watches this whole scene, choosing which plants to cultivate, which ones to remove. The steward. In the summer, the garden flourishes, and offers gardener and insect alike nourishment for the body and soul. But then winter comes, and the garden is covered with snow for a season. But even then, it is a place of life beneath the soil. Cover crops hold roots below the soil, where larvae wriggle and grow.
Folk who garden tend to live longer lives, with less of it in a state of end-life disability. The "Blue Zones," which are areas around the globe which have the largest number of centenarians, people who live to 100, are full of elder gardeners. Gardening improves mood, provides physical exercise, and offers healthy food. I think, also, that garden offers us a chance to confront our mortality.