I think my Dad was in his 40’s when his inner gardener broke out. He had grown up in the city and moved out to “the country” a few years after he married Mom. Our house had about 1/2 acre of yard; and was next door to my Grandparents home, and they also had about 1/2 an acre. I wish I knew what caused Dad to rototill a patch of the yard and plant a small garden. While I don’t know the original cause, I know it didn’t take him long to realize “Jersey ‘maters are the best!” That was a mantra he sang over and over again, especially to our friends from church who lived across the river in “Pennsyltucky” as he called it.
Each year Dad would add a few more feet onto the area he tilled and planted unit it consumed about the back third of the properties (even going a little into Grandmom’s part I think!). He grew tomatoes, beans, corn, squash, horseradish, carrots, peppers and I don’t recall what else. He grew way more than our family could consume, and it brought him great pleasure to grow the produce to share with others.
He was so dedicated to his garden that Mom and I used to laugh that after work dad got out of the car and went out and checked the garden before he even came in to greet us!
I don’t recall Dad ever having me help him weed his garden, and perhaps I helped Mom a little bit with tidying the garden from time to time. But I never really got the “gardening bug” from either of them. I recall a great aunt sharing with me once that she was so happy that the latent heritage of gardening had resurfaced in Dad. I sort of hoped that once I hit my 40’s it would pop out in me too. But since those days have come and gone . . . I am GRATEFUL for the friends who mulch, plant my gardens and weed. I am also thankful for those, who like Dad, grow more than they need and share with us.
Ok. but enough nostalgia. When we got home from camp a few weeks ago I noticed that a great number of weeds had made themselves quite at home along our sidewalk, driveway and garden edges. It was really quite embarrassing looking – one on the corner of the sidewalk was about 2 feet tall and growing! So I contacted our friend Kait and she came by yesterday. After about 3 solid hours of work our property looked as nice as others in our neighborhood. I am so grateful for her help. I think she did the most thorough job of weeding I had even seen.
So this morning I started thinking about weeds and correlating that to sin in my life.
Thursday morning was a particularly great morning for weeding. We had a significant rain the night before, so the ground was still moist, making it “easier” to get the weeds out at the roots, but still not without Kait investing a significant amount of energy.
The bigger the weed, the deeper the roots. And when the big ones came out they left a visible hole. Next we’ll spray some “weed killer” to prevent any little leftover pieces from reappearing.
There is a “weed” in my personal life that I want out of here. I’d like to think it c
an just be yanked out and done away with, but honestly I’ve let it grow so long, it’s pretty well rooted. That means it is likely going to take an investment of energy to leave the comfort of the weed and uproot it. The ground around this weed in my heart needs to be softened, perhaps through some stormy circumstances, and ultimately by letting go of the control.
When the final pieces of this ingrained weed are gone there will be a hole left in my life – this weed has become a comfortable, though unsavory friend over the years. That means I’ll need to fill that hole with obedience, and fruits of the spirit that I want to grow and produce in such abundance that I can share with others.
Maybe, just maybe Dad’s legacy of gardening will resurface after all!