How did it get that bad?
What used to be my neat little patch of land that I call my garden turned into a forest of overgrown weeds in just a few months. Well, to be honest, more like a jungle than anything else.
After a few sighs of discouragement, I grab my trusty little spade and go to work on my knees, telling myself that I could stop after I clear a couple of feet.
The earth is wet, and most of the huge weeds are suprisingly easy to pull. I get into a rhythm of scraping and pulling, filling my bucket with weeds and emptying it, letting my mind dwell on the beautiful, tasty tomatoes that the heat of summer would bring. I discover more blooms on my strawberry plants and smile.
I am starting to sweat, and my back feels the labor, so I straighten up to work out a few kinks–sometimes I am reminded that I am no longer in my twenties.
My work looks good. I now can see the rich dirt that the jungle was hiding. I plan where I am going to plant the beans this year, and the peppers, and the spaghetti squash.
I just keep working, one inch at a time. The buckets of weeds get emptied regularly, and the minutes turn into a couple of hours. It’s all good–I can see the end in sight. I hit the last little corner against the fence.
When I am done, I look with satisfaction at the little plot of land. The jungle is gone, and it looks like a garden ready to recieve the seedlings once more.
I carefully step out and put the spade and shovel away. I smell like wet dirt, and my muddy shoes weigh at least a ton each. My fingernails are all black.
Once home, I pull my heavy shoes out and scrub my hands. It takes some time, because the dirt embedded itself deep inside of my finger nails, but I enjoy the process. And just as the weeds got dealt with one at a time, so the dirt washes away, one speck at a time.
And I realize that no matter how big or small the task is, the process is the same–I have to start some place, and just keep moving until it’s done.
With one drop of water. One weed pulled. One ounce lost. One thought uprooted. One thought planted. One moment in time.
And I know that one is just a drop in the bucket. One is so not enough. But I also know that there is no bucket full of anything without all the ones. They are the very ones that make it happen.
It’s the tiny ones that created my garden jungle, and the little ones that recreated my garden. It’s the ones that made my fingernails black, and the ones that washed the dirt away.
I dry my clean hands, and I am struck as I look at all the fibers that make up the towel. Yep, it’s the ones.
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