When There’s Chaos, Plant a Garden

I sat with Kyle Church at a retreat centre in BC and we were looking out over the glassy water and misty morning unfolding on Kootenay Lake. I was preparing notes to speak to students, and he was working on songs for his next album. Kyle Church is a Canadian singer-songwriter from Medicine Hat, and was nominated for GMA Canada’s Folk Album of the Year. His music reflects his heart for beauty, the Good Life, and the hope we find between the cracks.
We spent the week talking about big ideas, about a world that aches, and how we move through it. One morning he came to me with this ukulele and a note pad, “I wrote a song last night, want to hear it?” he asked. He then sang for me a song about planting a garden even while the world rages on. It was beautiful
“When there’s chaos around us, care from the ground up.” That’s the hope we carry in dark times. Echoing Ecclesiastes which says, “in the morning sow your seed… for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” In other words, keep on gardening.
Around the world people continue to sow a seed. In Inuvik, there is a community greenhouse that persists in growing vegetable in the far north, in spite of the harshest conditions. In Ukraine defiant gardeners have planted sunflowers, wheat fields, and in one case even a cabbage patch right in between two burnt out Russian tanks. In Detroit, abandoned neighbourhoods were reclaimed by gardeners and whole streets look more like a thriving green grove, than a deserted suburban wasteland.
Kyle Church is calling out something important in our communities and neighbourhoods in this season, he’s inviting us to change the scope and scale of how we create goodness, hope, beauty and love in the places where we live, and he’s doing it one song and one garden at a time.
We’re so pleased to have Kyle Church come to town this weekend. Kyle Church will be playing a backyard, lake-side concert in Chestermere on Saturday, September 10th at 7:00 pm. Tickets are by donation and can be found at kylechurch.com/tour, look for the links to his Chestermere tour stop.
Kyle Church writes, “There seems to be so many issues across the world that are fighting for our attention. In the midst of a world that appears to be spiralling out of control on many fronts, Plant a Garden explores the idea that instead of worrying about all the things that are beyond our control… maybe the best thing we can contribute to the world is to simply care and tend for the small square footage beneath our feet; to plant flowers, to tend a garden, and to care for our neighbourhood. The song proposes the idea: “when there’s chaos around us, we should care from the ground up, and keep growing beautiful things.”
For more information, visit kylechurch.com/tour

About the author

Preston Pouteaux

Preston Pouteaux

Preston is a pastor at Lake Ridge Community Church in Chestermere and experiments mostly in the intersection of faith and neighbourhood. Into the Neighbourhood explores how we all contribute to creating a healthy and vibrant community. Preston is also a beekeeper; a reminder that small things make a big difference.


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