From Dirt to Garden

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting the feeling that these are ~bad times~ for a lot of people. Everything from exacerbated suffering in the world to the troubling anxiety of societal and personal uncertainty, it’s terrible. And sometimes it feels like there are just like 2.58 million too many problems to fully deal with any one of them.

When I was talking to one of my friends yesterday, I told her that I felt like life was telling me to eat dirt. Just straight up, a handful of dirt for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. How delicious. I mean, doesn’t soil have great nutrients!

Honestly, it can be so discouraging. At this point, God knows way too much how I feel about it all. But, of course, I told Him more about it last night, because He’s the only one who has an infinite capacity for all my feelings. As I prayed, I imagined a wheelbarrow and shovel moving dirt around, and a watering can ready to nourish the land.

You know, life may be telling me to eat dirt, but maybe God and I are just going to have to use the dirt to make a new garden! The thing about gardens, though, is that once you plant the seeds in the dirt and fertilize the soil and water, it still takes time to see even a little sprout, if any, and it generally takes months to have a chance at bearing any fruit.

There’s also that feeling that, didn’t I already do this? Haven’t I already planted, seen sprouts, but never harvested the fruit? Is it even exciting to plant another garden, to have new hopes that may come to nothing?

Truthfully, it’s not as exciting as I wish it were. It feels like a whole lot more work than I asked for and no guarantee of return. But I’m learning to hold the risk in my hands. To admit it doesn’t feel good and do it anyway. To smell the dirt and know it’s okay if it’s not worth it. It’s beautiful right now knowing that there’s a wheelbarrow, that there’s a watering can, that there are hands that want to tend to life no matter how much it gives back to them.

With tools and with hands, today we will subsist. I can only hope that tomorrow we will harvest, and we will thrive. But even so, even so. Today we subsist.

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