Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Water and the Weeds

I turn on the sprinkler for a few minutes in the garden,
letting it pool up on the dirt.
Then I turn it off and wait so it can soak into the ground,
as I go around watering the rest of the things I have planted.
Once the water has soaked down, and no longer pools,
I take my bucket and squat down in between the rows
and begin another day's weed pulling among my onions.
The dirt is wet enough to cake on my hands, and under my fingernails.
What are these weeds? They're everywhere.
I focus on one small area at a time, carefully grasping each one at the base,
and applying slow steady pressure with a gentle twist.
When I am careful, and don't rush the work,
the weeds come sliding out satisfactorily,
all the way down to their slender root tips.
They pile up in my bucket.
The vegetables I planted become visible.

My toes go numb in this position, and I stand up to stretch.
I double over, and work awhile that way,
to let my toes and the back of my legs rest.
It was a hot day, and the garden earth lets off a cool vapor.
I think about Adam walking in the cool of the evening,
and wonder what the Lord showed him there in the garden.
I think about weeds and water and good soil.
How we need to be softened up with the Water,
so our hearts can let go of those bitter roots.
How skipping the watering makes the weeding impossible.
The roots break, and the weeds hang on.
I don't want that good seed to be choked out.

I spot a huge weed, and prepare for a struggle with it,
but the water has done its work, and it comes out easy.
I am careless over a small one, because it is small,
and I move too fast, and it wasn't watered well, and it breaks.
I'll have to work harder on it the next time.

I don't finish this time, just as I didn't the day before.
It will not be finished.
But tomorrow, I'll pull a few more after I water.
The rows are getting clearer, and the good seed is growing.
The weeds will get smaller.
They won't go away entirely, but it will be clear which side is winning.
Each day when I finish what I am doing,
and see how much was accomplished, I am surprised.
It was more than I expected -- even though so much is left.

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