Sunday, November 10, 2013

Digging In The Dirt

There is something beautifully simple about sitting in a garden planting seeds, digging in the dirt, and transplanting new growth in the ground.

Yesterday as I walked around the neighborhood, I wandered over to The Last Organic Outpost to do some volunteer farming.  Linda handed me a bucket of soil, some small pots, and a bag of cabbage seeds.  I set up under a ramada as it began sprinkling, digging into the bucket of dirt with both hands, patting it into the tiny pots, and setting a few seeds under the surface.

I was soon joined by the farm cat who tried to take a nap on my back as I hunched over the buckets.

After planting some cabbage and greens, Linda handed me some broccoli plants that had sprouted in pots and needed to be transplanted to a larger plot of land to thrive.  I broke up the ground, reached into the broccoli pots, gently removed them from their tiny homes, being careful of the roots, and set them in the holes I had made in the ground.

As I reflect on my time at the garden, and on the struggles I have been wrestling with over the past few weeks, God revealed some beautiful gems.

I cannot put new growth into the ground without tilling the soil, breaking up the hard ground that has been built up over time through storms and heat waves.  I cannot plant seeds without getting dirty.  I cannot make space for new growth without pulling up the weeds that have overrun the garden.

Gardening my heart is hard work.

It turns out that ground I thought was soft and ready for new seeds, new growth, is actually still littered with weeds, hard in some places, rough in others, unprepared.  I thought I was coming to Mission Year to get some pointers, some direction on how to do intentional community. I did not realize I was coming to Mission Year to re evaluate who I am and where I find my value. I did not realize living with six other people would be so difficult. I did not realize how hardened I can be when I clash with others' lifestyles and expectations. I did not realize how important a clean house and clean dishes are to me (ok, maybe I knew this one, but I didn't know how difficult it would be to live with others who have different expectations).

It turns out, there is a lot of ground that needs to be plowed and prepared for the growth that is to come. 

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