Lately, I’ve done one of my infamous disappearing acts. Instead of maintaining the charade that I can hold it all together with blog, kids, and home, I have decided to forego “consistent blogging” in favor of other activities like . . . .gardening, binge watching Burn Notice on Netflix, and making our house all “vacummey.” (Anika actually came out of her room and declared in a suspicious voice ” Iss all vaccuumey in dere!”)
Evidently, I’m not so great at writing when my muse decides to skip in the garden, so instead of making you suffer through badly written posts contrived in desperation, I just . . . didn’t.
But now I have something to say.
Each time I bend over my little square foot gardens to pluck out a dastardly weed, bemoan a nibbled spinach, or tuck in another bean seed, there is a little refrain that keeps running through my brain.
I shouldn’t be too surprised. In fact, I’ve explained to several friends who were putting in gardens that the “Mel’s Mix” soil mixture used in square foot gardening is specifically designed to “let your roots run deep.” It is the perfect balance of moisture and porousness, which enables the roots to go STRAIGHT down, maximizing the space you have. You can plant in a small space if your roots can go down deep instead of spreading out in search of water and nutrients.
Now, because I’m a cheapskate and line my beds with paper bags instead of weed barrier, I recently had to dig out all of the Mel’s Mix from last year’s square foot garden and “clean it.” The paper bags eventually disintegrate and let weeds through. I dug the soil out. I lay down new paper bags. Finally, I spaded through last year’s soil, sifting out the weeds, hairy little strings, sprouting acorns, and other invaders. Meanwhile, I sat at the edge of my garden hearing the mantra.
“I AM! I AM!” I mentally shouted back to mantra-voice. “Don’t you see me painstakingly CLEANING this dirt.” (Like an oxymoronic chump in a paradox.) “I’m TOTALLY letting my roots run deep.”
“Oh great.” I internally said to the voice (which was beginning to sound like the Holy Spirit). “This is a spiritual lesson isn’t it!?”
“Apparently the word of Christ is dwelling within me, or we wouldn’t be having this conversation, now would we?”
“Richly, smart-aleck.” (The Holy Spirit has my number, I think.)
And then I realized that once again Grace for the Good Girl, a book that I studied this winter with some other gals, was out to get me again, penetrating my life even as I cleaned my dirt. I couldn’t escape all the “letting” that she talked about. That the Bible talks about. That my own brain and the Holy Spirit within me talks about.
Let. Let. Let. Let. Let.
Let your roots . . .Let the peace . . . Let the word.
To me, let is a word that basically means . . . .something or someone else with the power does the work. All the while I just stand or sit or watch and
do NOT do . . . .
Let is passive. And I am not a big fan of the passive. I am a big fan of The Control. I am a fan of The Doing. . . . .of The Serving and Moving and Forcing and Enacting.
So I dig and I think and I weed and I think.
I pull out one gnarly knot after another of useless, old dead tendrils of past life. I purge all the skinny, starved, winter-wrecked remnants of a plant that is forgotten. I make room for a new life, which will just miraculously stretch new roots down into a rich, deep, newly composted abundant soil where it will dwell. . . . and grow.
It is made to grow. It is meant to produce. It is designed, under the right condition, to be beautiful. (See the verse at the top of page by the header if my metaphor is not clear enough.)
It dawned on me suddenly, and even now that the good, strong, miraculous and powerful work is NOT mine to do. I am just to LET it be done by the life-giver to whom I have relinquished control. Haven’t I?
I am to allow, to make space, to make the conditions right for the gardener to come along and do WHAT HE DOES.
Quite often I think that I am the gardener. But I am the plant. The sheep. The follower.
This is not to say there is nothing for me to do, such as ridding my garden of old dead inhibiting tangled roots from the past. Perhaps sometimes my only job is in preparing to LET my roots run deep. Hmm . . . I wonder how to do that.
What does LET mean to you?