The birds sing the heartiest before the sun lifts above the blue line of the horizon, right outside my bedroom window. And to awaken to birdsong is to awaken to wonder—wild, sweet notes pealing through the dark. Hope opens like a flower unfolding in the sun. Every year I forget this—how spring shifts the heart, how the stone is rolled away.
Yesterday evening I prepared my little garden for planting—tilling in a new layer of topsoil, breaking up chunks of earth with my fingers. I have broccoli and onions, some different varieties of lettuce, and kale, all ready to be covered over with a blanket of soil—put to sleep in preparation for a new awakening.
Every spring, I am the seed. It is the painful breaking open, the reaching through the dark that yields the fruit that feeds, after all. But this morning, I look out over the meadow behind our home and see how it has flowered. The seeds the birds have dropped over the years have grown into a lovely orchard of pear trees, all frocked out in lacy blossoms. I remember a time when the meadow was mostly grasses—well-kept with only a couple apple trees, three pear trees, and that prickly chestnut. Time and neglect have made her a new place, and the meadow is flushed out with brush and thistle now; hints of last year’s wildflowers whispering against young saplings. The goats have made some progress around the perimeter, but her midsection is still a wild place.
This morning that wildness sings to me and I am taken by the way the pinky-white blossoms break up the twiggy undergrowth and weave beauty through the monotony.
This morning I look out over the meadow behind our home and see that this spring I am the blossom. I am this fragile, translucent beauty that takes wing with the wind—carrying the memory of the breaking open in my skin, leaving behind a sweet perfume and the promise of plump fruit.
Be a gardener.
Dig a ditch,
toil and sweat,
and turn the earth upside down
and seek the deepness
and water the plants in time.
Continue this labor
and make sweet floods to run
and noble and abundant fruits
to spring.
Take this food and drink
and carry it to God
as your true worship.

–Julian of Norwich


  1. says

    i have wandered over here from Diana Trautwein’s blog. I figured anyone recommended by Diana was worth checking out and I was not disappointed. I found your writing . . . . well, “lovely” is the word that comes to mind. It creates emotions, pictures and I will be back. Glad to have landed here.

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