Saturday, I spent my first Spring afternoon doing nothing but tending to the gardens. After months of working inside the house on many projects that needed my attention, the weather and my (nondriving) teenage daughter’s schedule aligned so that I had 4 hours free to do as I pleased.
If you know anything about gardening, you understand that the first part of the season is less not about planting and harvesting and more about clearing and cleaning. Beds need to be uncovered from piles of leaves, stray vines must be trimmed back, and dead plants are clipped to make room for new growth.
By dinner time on Saturday, my body was full of scrapes and scratches and tuckered out.
That evening,however, I enjoyed sitting up on my front porch and surveying all that had been accomplished by my hand. What a delight~I could feel it way down into the depths of my spirit.
And Sunday morning, I could feel it way down into the depths of my body. Argh~
At the spiritual retreat last weekend, I was reminded that our souls are like gardens. We tend to them, we water them, and we expectantly wait for Spring sun to shine down and bring Light into the world.
And yet, gardens also require work. Hard work, sometimes. Whether we are wrestling with the thorny wild rose or hoeing in the compost, there are tasks that we’d rather not do–they’re not fun, they leave us tired, and they seemingly don’t contribute to the beauty of the garden.
When we stand back, however, and look at the bigger picture of the full day’s work, we can regain perspective. We may be spent and have a few tender scratches here and there, but our work is not in vain. It uncovers new growth and exposes it to light so that the garden is prepared for a new season.
My prayer for us during this Lenten Holy Week is that our reflections on our spiritual “hard work” will open our spirits up to opportunities for growth and new life.