What is it about digging up things within ourselves that causes not only a new sense of freshness, but a dash of pain as well? I like to think about it as cultivation- because that is what is going on. When you till ground, it is difficult labor. You are breaking into the earth, cleaning out the crap that you find, throwing away what is not useful, getting it ready for newness… but you get dirty and sore doing it.
But when do you stop? When do you say: Ok. That is good. I’ve gone far and deep enough. Let’s start planting.
I don’t know how to answer that question. I think sometimes you reach a point and you have had enough- you’ve reached the boundaries of yourself.
I read a beautiful idea on pinterest (so you know this is going to be good and life-changing):
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy…”
― C. JoyBell C.
Once you reach that point, and the ground has been dug up, it is ready to receive newness: planting of seeds. And it is a difficult process because you may not see new life immediately. But in that time of waiting, there is growth happening. During this time there is an expectant hope. There is a watchful eye waiting for the new life to spring forth and burst into life filling the earth with color and vegetation- proof of life, proof that the waiting was worth it, proof that there is goodness from the pain.
And there, in that moment, there is satisfaction of seeing a promise come to life.
Because the land was tilled and the work was done. And because you moved on when it was time.
And there will be weeding that needs to be done to ensure the health of the new growth- and there will be weeding that needs to continue to be done. A time to take out anything that threatens the continual growing by pulling it out at the root. There is an active defense of one’s garden that has to happen for life to keep growing.
And like cultivation, there are seasons to life. Times when it feels like there is so much tilling; times of reaching your boundaries of digging; times of planting; times of waiting; times of enjoying the visible proof of the work; and times of weeding. There is an order to it all- you cannot plant seeds while tilling the ground because they would get lost in the process. You cannot rush the waiting time that it takes for the seeds to grow. And just like each new year, these seasons come around time and time again. If the tilling is not done, the growth that is needed to survive is no longer possible.