They call out to me this morning.
Their greens now fading, their blooms a distant memory. The birds and the deer have gleaned the last bits of nourishment these plantings will provide. Now they call to me, beckon my fingers to sift and prune.
The soil is tender toward me, softened by the recent rains. I take advantage of her gentle nature–tug and churn. I breathe in the musty scent, feel it cling to my skin. I cut back the dead or dying, pull up weeds–ready these Beloveds for the long sleep.
I start out in garden gloves, but as the hours pass, I am soon working with bare hands…seeking with my keen fingertips what glove cannot feel. I jiggle loose the weedy roots underneath their rich blanket of soil and pull up from leggy beginnings. I must dig deep–raking fingernails on twig and vine–clawing at dirt.
Nothing else will work.
This feels right–dirt under fingernails, green staining hands, thorns pricking palms.
Every fall I do this…get rid of decay, thin out the overgrown, plant the new.
It is desolate when I finish. Bare. Three dwarf Alberta Spruces stand sentinel over this austerity.
It’s hard to imagine what will come in spring. It’s hard to remember the beauty that lies sleeping beneath the loamy surface. It would be easy to dismiss this barren patch of land. Forget to tend. Just walk away.
But I know better.
It is during this season of undress that roots grow strong. Seeds are sprouting, drinking in nourishment from soil prepared far ahead of time for bloom.
The seed planted in the darkness of this season will not remain barren forever.
I trust in this.
How do you know it’s true?
Her eyes. Oh her eyes. She held His Word in her hand and asked.
How do you know? Why do you believe?
My answer wasn’t good enough.
But it planted a seed. Oh, Lord, I pray it planted a seed.