The thing about roots is that they are designed, not only to nourish the plant, but also to hold it firmly in place. Without roots, plants would be carried away by the wind. The older the plant, the deeper and wider the roots grow. Try pulling the root of a big old tree!
So this morning as I worked on a part of my yard I had neglected for a while, I set out to prepare the ground to plant new shrubs and flowers.
As I was digging and pulling roots and weeds, I came across some pretty big roots that had been silently tucked away in the soil for a good long while. Mind you there was no living plant connected to these roots. The plants died long ago. But the roots stayed firmly in the dark, without being noticed. These roots nourish no more. They don’t hold any living thing in place. They’re just there. Quietly. Secretly.
Until I came along.
How can a dead thing be so difficult to pull! I pulled so hard, one of those yanks sent me flying backwards only to land on my rear end a couple of feet away (thankfully I have built in cushions).
I had to pull those stubborn roots! If I didn’t, I would not be able to clear the ground for these new beautiful plants I just purchased. So I yanked and yanked, using muscles I haven’t used in a while (I’ll be in pain tomorrow, I know).
As I reflected on what I was doing, I realized that in my own heart, there are roots that have been firmly established. Roots of wrong thinking, lack of trust, deeply seeded fears, and iinsecurities from long ago. Most of the time, I don’t even know they’re there. Until the garden keeper decides to yank them out.
“Ouch!!! Don’t take those out! I was perfectly OK with them there!”
“But I’m getting ready to replace the dead things with new living things”, says the keeper.
“NO! No, no, no! You are removing too many things! Stop!” I cry as I struggle to hold on to the roots I’ve been accustomed to for such a long time.
“But don’t you see this is good for you”?
Good for me. It is good for me to be shaken and moved in order for the hand of the keeper of the garden to pull the dead and make room for the new. I guess my heart can’t hold all of it at once.
So roots are being yanked now. And I didn’t even know they were there! But as much as it hurts, I’m deciding not to fight it. I know I’ll resist tomorrow, but today, I am trusting my keeper. Can’t wait to make room for more fertile soil, and to be adorned with fruit producing plants.
My yard is looking so much better! But I’m not done yanking. As I bring more plants from the store, I’ll have to dig again. But I’ll make sure I water the garden and keep it free of weeds, because it’s hard work doing this gardening! It’s my garden, so I’ll tend to it as faithfully as I’m able.
My garden keeper will do the same with me.