Last week we did it!
My friend and I rolled up our sleeves and uprooted every dead plant and unwelcome grass & weed in the community garden.
Our once fruitful community garden met season’s end and withered in a blink of an eye. It was time.
It wasn’t just the dead plants that needed to go.
Some vegetables were planted to close together.
An entire row of stubby and deformed carrots were tossed.
Other plants were found to be toxic to the community, bringing forth awful allergic reactions.
Mummified okra plants were yanked up by the root.
Other plants bloomed too late in the season and were overlooked.
A fence intricately laced with hallow straw-colored string beans was plucked clean.
Then there were the weeds and grass.
Weeds are rather easy, you just yank them up by the root.
The grass though, that is another animal.
It never fails, every season the neighbor’s grass creeps through the fencing and chokes the life out of our abundance.
I imagine it would be “easier” to maintain the creepy grass, but that takes so much time.
Instead, we ignore it and then break our backs trying to yank it out.
Man, that grass does not go without a fight! I am certain it would be easier to maintain. More than likely I will just neglect the maintenance and be found kicking myself next go around.
When the day was done, I was a little broken as I gazed across the empty garden. Rich fertile soil in every direction. So much potential, but we had to uproot nearly everything in that garden. A stark reminder of how fleeting life is when death knocks at the door. The only bit of life that remained was a mint plant.
The mint plant had multiplied and now a couple, maybe three, hugged the fencing where the neighbor’s grass crept in. A few mint plants had been lost when the grass was being uprooted.
I laughed to myself. The mint plants weren’t even part of the plan. When I dreamed of the community garden, I imagined herbs to have their own separate place from the community garden. Something simple and private for my husband to use in his cooking.
Someone in the neighborhood offered free mint plants that were to be thrown in the trash. I figured we could just plant one or two and see how it went. No planning. No preparation. No maintenance. No intentionality whatsoever. Just a freebie.
And here the freebie stood. All that was left in community garden.
The soil though! It was rich, moist, and ready for new seed.
There is so much that can be done still.
Even though it all looks so desolate, there is life to be had.
Sometimes you have to uproot everything that is dead, deformed, and bringing death in order to have hope for the future.
As I worked the community garden with my friend, it brought a smile to my face. It reminded me of all the transformation taking place in my life now. I am in the midst of uprooting so much. So many dreams. So many purposes. So many plans. There is an ever so slight prick of sadness. I suppose it is part of hating death so much. But that frustrating sorrow is significantly insignificant in the shadow of hope’s future.
A few days after the community garden’s great uprooting, I found myself having a hangout with The Preacher Girls. I was filling them in on the great uprooting of my own. A chapter is closing for me, and my life is a plot of vast rich soil ready to plant new roots. There is a future. There is hope. There is absolute peace, and it feels so right and so good.
As I shared this with my lifelong sisters, Leila made a statement that many of us will not forget: “You are living a life that is reproducible.”
Yes, uprooting to flourish is absolutely the most life-giving season I have embraced. May this life be a life that is reproducible and flourishes for eternity.