In early spring, a gardener begins the back-breaking work of plowing the garden. She breaks up the hard soil, getting blisters on her hands from the tiller. She prepares the ground to receive the seed, places the seed in the ground, covers it over with dirt, waters it, and then must wait. But the waiting is not passive waiting, its is hard work. Day by day, she waters, she pulls weeds, she checks for insects, and other pests. She has to deal with a late frost by carefully covering her plants and praying that they survive. She has to deal with droughts and scorching hot days. In this time of labor, she does not see much initial yield on her investment. Each day she comes to check on the plant, it barely seems to have grown.
She is tempted to give up. She knows her neighbors all go to the grocery store and can get similar vegetables pretty cheap. Maybe her husband has not taken much interest into the garden or has been too busy to help. She gives up a lot of the time she hoped to spend elsewhere. When she goes out into the hot sun, she wonders if progress is being made. She is tempted to resent it. But eventually through perseverance and what seemed like forever but was actually just a few months, the plant blossoms. Then comes the initial fruit. It is not much but it is sweet.
As late summer and early fall approach, the tender shoot she cared for as little seedling begins to produce an abundance of vegetables, so fresh and delightful nothing at the grocery store can dare compare. The meals she prepares with these fruits are so delicious that everyone praises her cooking. She has enough of a harvest to share with others. When winter rolls around and she grabs a jar of canned vegetables that she had grown and serves them to her family, she takes a bite and thinks to herself how glad she is that the did not give up before the harvest. The cold weather keeping her inside makes her look back with great fondness on that hot summer day where she on her hands and knees carefully weeded around that tiny shoot of a plant that never seemed like it would grow. How could she have ever complained about that time out in the sun doing the work of a gardener.