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How to do life as a sensitive soul: gardening edition

May 2, 2016

 “I am the Vine, you are the bracropped-final-016.jpgnches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.” John 15:5-8, The Message

To be aware of every need shouldn’t be a burden, but a call to action. Seeing nothing but brokenness shouldn’t crush my spirit, but set it aflame to do good works. Not knowing how to process the mundane as well as the difficult shouldn’t be life-stopping, but a clue to keep searching for better applications.

A lovely friend helped me realize that God speaks to our hearts when we are doing work that makes us content–if we will just be present and listen. It can be art, music, writing, adventuring, interacting with people, basically anything you enjoy devoting yourself to. For me in this season, it’s gardening in general, and weeding is the chapter we are on.

The obsessive perfectionist in me wants to pull of those pesky buggers, but I know that’s not practical. That’s why we are given a limited season to work out the mess that winter didn’t kill off, and preen and mulch to blanket the issues for awhile. If the weeds aren’t pulled at the earliest signs of detection, they could take deeper root and choke the loveliness that we want to grow. Some weeds seem like a larger problem, but upon finding the root, I’m amazed at how easy they are to get rid of. Others require special tools, and still others require sacrifice of part of a healthy, wanted plant in order to destroy the root of the problem. The hardest weeds to move on from are the ones with the deep-seated roots that have been left to fester. We may try and chisel bits away, or pull up chunks, but some fights aren’t meant to be won right now. Perhaps next season.

On Planting:

Consider a squirrel’s work to prepare for winter. He collects as many nutrient-rich nuts as he can, and buries some here, some there. Does he have a map to find his food when the ground thaws? Does he count the locations, varieties, quality? Does he ponder what to do if none of his well-hidden gems are rediscovered when needed? What if the winter was too harsh and he never returns? A tree could sprout up from that buried nut, providing future generations of squirrels with a food source. We plant the seeds, and then we wait.

I trust I will learn more lessons as I continue gardening; for now, I will be content.

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