My garden sits out back, just off of the deck. Go down the four steps, cross the cement block and you are at my corner of gardening bliss. All spring and summer I work that soil — day by day. But right now all you can see is turned over dirt. Dirt that’s mixed with the ugly remnants of falls yard work — composting — nurturing the soil.
The kids seem agitated. It’s from me. I’ve been worrying about money again. As I’ve let my own anxiety win it’s now trickled down to my little ones moods. Cries of irritation begin to be heard, and some disgruntled attitudes can be heard about tidying the kitchen.
Every spring I grab my old garden shovel and walk to the garden. It’s the same shovel that I used when I built the kiddos their snow fort, but now it’s being put to proper use. Slowly I push the steel blade into the earth, kick down with my foot, and lift over shovel full after shovel full of dirt. It’s exhausting work.
I’ve become aware that I need to be the one to change the atmosphere in our home. Even though I have these worries, they are covering up the beauty of our family. Instead of seeing the potential all that’s being showcased is old, stagnant patterns. This needs to stop. I need to get to work. Changing myself.
Underneath the mess of composting grass and leaves is beautiful black nutrient rich dirt. Waiting for me to bring it to the surface. Gradually the new dirt, the spring dirt, begins to overtake the remnants of winter. I continue digging — up and down — dump. With each pass the excitement of spring and green shoots and new growth grows.
I’m still in the kitchen. But now, as I wash those leftover dishes, I pray that I am washed. With each wipe of the rag I pray that the Lord removes the anxiety that I’ve let cloud my heart. I watch the little ones — ones who are still unsure of the mood of the day — and instead of seeing frustration I see potential. It just needs to be unearthed. Cultivated.
The digging is done. Now I wait for that warm day in mid-May when I can put seeds into that soil. I may start lettuces and peas before, but until then I wait. But the soil is ready — it looks different. Prepared.
The kitchen is clean. The littles are sitting with me reading a story. I’m embracing the moment — the sweetness of Samuel’s head resting on my arm, Elijah’s sweet questions, and Caleb’s eagerness. Gradually I begin to sense the shift in the mood. Anxiety is being replaced by joy.
It took work. Letting go. Digging deep.