As part of our 2016 New Year rituals , my family decided to spend our final day of winter break this week in the garden. We made this plan expecting to uproot and discard leftover dead growth from last year’s harvest, and to cover the newly bare earth with a blanket of leaves. Sounds perfectly lovely and symbolic, right? What we did not expect was encountering a large distribution of healthy, deeply rooted green weeds that we would have to spend fully two-thirds of our morning digging up – in January!
How do you think we responded?
Did we hunch our shoulders and give up on the task entirely in disgust? Proudly, no.
Did we smile, inhale deeply, and plunge into the fresh challenge with optimism, gusto, and a deep appreciation for the character we were about to build? Not exactly, though we may choose to remember it that way.
Did we procrastinate a little to assess and discuss the situation at length before digging into the unavoidable with a mild air of resentment? Maybe some of us did…a little.
Here, in the spirit of full disclosure, is a composite outline of my mature and deeply spiritual thoughts as we bravely took back our land from the encroachers:
–Not fair! This is not okay. Weeding is a summer activity, not a winter one; don’t you know that? It’s January and this is ridiculous and I shouldn’t have to do it. No.
–Rats. My kids are watching. If I quit this, I will never get them to finish a chore ever again. Where’s the stupid rake?
–Sleet? Really? NOW comes the cold, dry, weed-prohibiting weather? Thanks a lot, Mother Nature.
–Hey, that sleet is kind of pretty in our hair.
–Wow, sandhill cranes! At first I thought they were geese flying overhead, but that’s wrong because their calls sound like a cross between domestic turkeys and Julia Child. They are really beautiful. Happy travels, cranes!
–How do I not have all of these weeds out yet? I rake and I rake and I pick and I pick and still there are clumps, usually stupid tiny ones hiding under the rake marks, impervious to my might. Get out, get out, get out already!
–Aw, my girls are working so well together. Look at them, filling that wheel barrow and encouraging each other and making jokes. They’re going to do so great on their own someday.
-“All right, you guys, knock it off!” Will they never develop the people skills to get through ONE DAY without arguing or having any meltdowns? They’re never going to make it on their own.
–Oregano is the devil. It has overgrown the entire herb patch and I am going to break this rake getting it out of the ground. Burn in hell, Oregano!
-[holds giant, basketball-sized Oregano root ball to the sky] I did it! I got it! I have emerged victorious from the trenches of war! Away with you, vile foe, never to darken our dirt again.
–That was fun! Let’s all hug and go inside and chow down on some chili. Maybe later, we can clean out the closets!