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life lessons from the garden

9 Aug

garden
Early summer in Denver was rain filled days.  I hadn’t remembered ever experiencing days like these. Is this what Seattle Washington feels like?

One afternoon, I peaked out of the window–through the rain, and noticed that the weeds had completely taken over our yard.  I’m not sure why in that moment, but an urgency rose up in me–the weeds and what was left of the grass had to go.  They had entangled so that there would be no way to eliminate one without getting rid of the other.

I started digging. Day after day, I put on my gloves, my old sneakers and pulled weeds. The rain?  Yes, thank God for the rain!  It loosened the dirt, from the roots of the weeds.  I prayed for more rain.  And it did rain, every day for many days.  I was thankful for each drop. It made my mission so much easier.

As I dug around in the dirt, I became well acquainted with worms in the yard. With all of the rain, they were everywhere. They fell with the dirt from the roots of the weeds. Ugh! The thought of worms has always been disgusting to me.  Oddly enough, I tried my best not to harm any of them.  I came to understand, just how important they were and would be to my future garden. The worms weren’t going anywhere and if I were going to complete my mission, I would have to learn to work with them. I overcame my fear, kept digging and shaking dirt loose from the roots of the weeds.

Eventually, I had a blank canvas to work with.  Weeds were gone, grass was gone–all that was left was dirt.  I knew I didn’t want to go through that particular process again, so I proceeded to xeriscape the majority of the yard.  Little by little, plant by plant, the yard transitioned from weeds and dandelions to a space that I could thoroughly enjoy spending time in.

Each day, I looked forward to caring for the plants in our yard.  I’ve found so much peace doing simple things like pulling up weeds and planting flowers. I learned more lessons then I can document in this post.  A few of them that stand out to me are:

  • If weeds are allowed to grow too long, when they are pulled, some good things may have to come with them (that’s okay because next time around I’ll be just a little wiser)
  • Sometimes, the things we least expect will help us the most. (rain, rain, and more rain)
  • It’s important to start and see where our journey leads us. (procrastination is the enemy of getting there)
  • God answers prayers (more rain…please and thank You)
  • Facing our fears is the only way to dispel them (poof, pow, be gone)
  • It’s possible to love, respect and work with the least likeliest of friends (even worms)

Working in the yard was, and still is (I’m still working on it) a necessary part of my growth process. Now, each time I look at it, I wonder what other things I have ahead of me to accomplish.

–cynthia martin

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