So, I may have mentioned this already, but most of my time this summer has been consumed by helping my Mom move to a fantastic retirement community, clearing out her old house and putting it on the market. It’s a huge, mammoth, gargantuan job as you can probably imagine, and it’s taken all summer so far and there’s still miles to go.
My house? Nothing is happening at my house except the accumulation of unfinished chores. Inside, the only thing changing is the growing piles of stuff. In the garden, any progress that had been made has completely been overtaken by the six-foot weeds and healthy crop of dandelions. I’m sure the neighbors are wondering if I’ve taken up dandelion farming. I’m not kidding. This is not your onesey-twosey kind of situation where I’m saying my garden is full of dandelions, but really there’s, like, five. I mean, my entire front lawn is carpeted in dandelions, especially on the one side. I mean, you can’t see any grass anymore on the side by the driveway. It’s insane.
But, here’s the cool part. In the midst of it all, the weeds and the mess and the dishes and the laundry and the endless toil of boxes and moving, things are still growing. The new butterfly garden I put in under the family room window, it’s growing. And now it’s blooming. What a lovely surprise to go outside last weeek to discover that there were flowers where before there was nothing but a patch of dirt. When I planted it up at the beginning of June, it looked like this:
And now it looks like this:
I’ve been so busy with everything, I had kind of forgotten that garden was even there, that I had planted it at all. Despite my severe neglect, it still grew. It’s already pretty, and when it’s fully grown it will be beautiful. It’s kind of a miracle, really.
Sometimes I wonder if that’s what happens inside us, too.
Sometimes we have to tend and till our hearts and souls, to cultivate them and water them so they will grow and prosper.
But sometimes, the seeds that are dropped in our hearts are so strong, so magical and full of love, that they grow despite us barely remembering them at all. They push their roots down and break up our hardened hearts. They stretch toward the light and bloom, despite us. Suddenly, we realize that something new and beautiful has grown inside of us, when we weren’t looking.
We’re so busy with life and chores and surviving our day-to-day, thinking that we’re not doing anything important or special or “nourishing” and then, without us noticing, our hearts are filled. It turns out that the life and chores and surviving our day-to-day is it’s own form of cultivating, it’s own form of healing. We are nourished by it.
Sometimes the weeds don’t win. Sometimes love does.
Somehow, it just blooms anyway.
What would it feel like, if instead of fighting against the life and chores and surviving our day-to-day, we embraced them? Let the “chop wood, carry water” nature of them work on us, instead of us working on them? What if, instead of feeling like we had to get every single thing done, to be driven by a need to complete it all, we just let the work happen, and what got done, got done, and what didn’t, didn’t. What if that was okay? What would happen then?
These are the questions I’m pondering in my daily toil. What are yours?