This weekend, our deacon gave a sermon about one of the gospels about seed and weeds. I should have paid closer attention. I probably should have paid more attention to Deacon, too. My mind wandered to my own battle with weeds. Particularly grass. Not the friendly kind of grass that lawns are made of; the four-foot tall grass with sharp edges that can cut fingers. The grass with roots that sink deep and run horizontally, spreading and weaving itself like once of those diseases in a horror movie.
[tweetthis]This year that horror-grass threatened to choke my raspberry bushes.[/tweetthis]
I grew up picking raspberries in my grandmother’s garden. She had a large, well-tilled field of bushes. Bushes that could hide her from site as we picked on alternate sites. At least in part, it’s these memories that make me so fond of raspberries and make my own tiny raspberry patch precious. Still, I am not the gardener that my grandparents were.!
Looking at the mess, I didn’t know where to begin. If it weren’t for Wrestler #1 asking to use our yard for Miss E’s graduation party… Well, let’s just say, there’s nothing that motivates me more to get my house in order than guests coming to visit. And of course, that’s when the first nearly 100 degree heat wave hit.
Armed with a shovel, garden gloves, and a pail, I woke at dawn (5:15 A.M) readied and resolved. I set my exercise monitor to “Play.” The darned thing has a category for walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, dance, etc. But nothing for weeding or gardening or anything close. USDA’s calorie counting is much friendlier. Their website has calorie counts for all kinds or farm-like activities, even chicken killing. Which leads me to believe that part of my overweight problem is not just how much I eat, but how much work I put into getting my food to my table. I digress. Today, I’m writing about weeds.
I had a tough time sinking my shovel into the dirt. Dry clay, gravel, and silt formed a matrix with thick grass roots, and raspberry runners. I persisted.
I swear, those raspberries held onto the weed in some sort of symbiotic grassroots bear hug. I could almost hear them say, “Stop. These roots hold water, so we can drink. Leave our friends alone.” I may have heard the grass whispering in the raspberries’ new blossoms, assuring them life would not be the same if they did not remain intertwined. I dug and I pulled. I pruned dead branches as I went. I perservered.
I noticed something. As I progressed, things got easier. “Let go. Let go,” the raspberries seemed tell each other. “We can breathe again, and the sun in our face feels so good. Grass lied. We’re better off without it.” The soil seemed to loosen, and I easily pull on a root and followed it along, dislodging more and more grass as I went. Finally, I finished the job. The raspberry bushes stood free, and if not exactly like Grandma’s, a close enough resemblance that I felt a twinge of pride. I could almost taste the fruits of my labor.
I got to thinking about things in life that I hold onto when perhaps I should have let go. Things that don’t help me as much as I thought. Habits and people and activities and stuff. Maybe habits that whisper in my ear and convince me it’s good for me, it’s helping me relax, giving me a break. Maybe if I let go, I’ll find out just how much better I can breathe. Maybe I don’t need to check the news as soon as I get up and right before I go to bed. I’m giving it a try.
The weather’s warm and we’ve been blessed with plenty of rain. I checked my raspberry bushes: lot of blooms and spreading branches. And horror-grass four inches high. It’s time for the shovel again.
[tweetthis]This isn’t going to be as easy as I thought. Weeds are wily. And adaptable.[/tweetthis] So are habits.