It has been a really busy day.
I’ve been running my tail off to prepare for the busy-ness of summer school. There’s a lot to get ready. My brother came and got my lawn mower started and gave me driving directions for it. Yeah, somehow I made it to 31 years old without ever having
had to gotten to learn to run a lawn mower. When we were kids our stepdad wanted N to mow and M to vacuum. Now N has carpet and M has grass.
So the grass is short and tomorrow I need to spend a day irrigating and attempt to make up for some of the neglect my yard has suffered this spring.
I’ve also been catching up on house cleaning and forging ahead on this de-clutter project. I don’t know if I’ll need to move for school or not but either way it’s time to part with board books and Bob the Builder DVDs.
It feels good to have noticeable progress. It’s a good, clean kind of tired. I’m exhausted and sore and rather sleepy but I have something real to show for the effort.
A year ago I spent most of my time tending the garden and yard. It was good for me. It gave me the silence and solitude to listen to God again. But it was also, in many ways, a mind numbingly boring use of my natural talents and intelligence. It’s easy to pull weeds all day stoned.
I’m still trying to sort out a new balance. Maybe there isn’t one. Maybe it will just take more time to find it.
I need to remember my roots. In the dirt and ditch water under the wide blue New Mexico sky. I live in the broad, fertile valley of the San Juan River. There is a stripe of lush green and vibrant life winding through the high desdirtert. Right here the water table is too high for anyone to have a basement or cellar. My house is right against a large irrigation canal. I have a little patch of Eden in the middle of thousands of miles of twisted sandstone and hard packed clay and blowing sand.
I do love it here. It might not quite compare to Colorado, I will always be a Colorado girl in my soul, but it is more than enough. But I can’t only hang laundry and pull weeds and pick tomatoes. I did, for several years, and in the moments of true silence that whispered voice kept saying “there is more than this.”
Five years ago I bought a fixer-upper house on a bare dirt lot with scraggly old fruit trees. Today I have a cute little house (another big thanks to my brother who was a huge part of turning it around) and grass and rosebushes and small but growing shade trees and half a dozen kinds of flowering bulbs and a huge strawberry patch and a dozens of herbs.
I don’t want to leave my little oasis. I’ve put a lot of sweat and blood and tears into this place. Dirt is the best therapy I’ve ever found. There is something rebellious and radical and freeing in growing good things to eat in a hungry, hurting world. And I am good at it. I have a knack for helping all sorts of things grow and thrive and flourish.
The secret to a green thumb is not making things grow but helping things grow. I just provide a bit of TLC and let nature to the rest. Planting seeds and raising kids and feeding cats are always small acts of faith. Sometimes I get surprises. Seeds that never sprout. Seeds that sprout long after being forgotten. Bugs and pests and booboos. I’ve taken more than one scar in service to helping grow. Stretch marks on my belly and breasts. Scratches on my arms. A perfect half-moon circle on the top of one foot.
I had forgotten just how good it is for me to get out and get dirty. I have become too focused on my dry paper world of books and learning.
And now, now I am very tired. Helping kids and plants grow is exhausting, demanding work. It’s a different kind of tired than the effort of reading and connecting information and writing. This is an I’m-going-to-sleep-really-well tonight kind of tired.