Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wanting to Be Shallow

I want to hide them, camouflage these white tubes protruding atop the barren winter field. Yet with a septic tank lying just beneath, I must be careful what I put there.

A year ago, my aunt had a tree who kept feeling its way through the soil, far across the yard until it found a constant source of water in her tank. Once there, its roots continuously circled and grew around and inside until the tree had to be cut down.

Yes, I know the problems that roots can cause, stopping up an entire household.

This past week, I went to my parents' home and dug up an assortment of iris and narcissus bulbs, the start of a shallow flower bed to hide those white tubes.

With a more-than-a-little-misty rain falling on Monday, I shallowly inserted twenty or so bulbs in the sandy soil. Their skinny green tops doubled over, not really hiding anything at this point.

My mother shoved the concrete bird bath over there last week. And today saw me clumsily operating a post hole digger, creating a 26" deep hole in the ground for the eight foot post that held up the bird feeder my daddy put together with deck screws and scrap wood...just like the one my brother made for him a few years ago. It doesn't look like much--the molded concrete, the green shoots, the wooden pole.

But bulbs that only sink their roots a few inches in the ground and "yard art" that helps sustain the birds in the winter and summer--that's what's required here.

This concept of shallow roots has bothered me since I started thinking about this project--it goes against everything I am.

I don't know how to do that, put down anything that doesn't sink way down deep past the topsoil and into the dark depths of the earth.

That's why change is so difficult--even if it's change for the better.

Last week, I witnessed my oldest exhibiting a trait that I have struggled with since childhood--and it scared me, the knowledge that it was already taking root in him simply because he saw it in me every day.

Then and there, I ripped up some pretty deep roots in my own life and begged God to help me start again for my children's sakes.

It's been almost two weeks now, and with the Spirit's help, I have been mostly victorious so far. Each day is a struggle, wanting to sink that taproot once again to what comes easily to me.

For now, though, I'm trying to keep those roots as shallow as those bulbs I planted in the new earth, daily praying for God's help and giving myself time to mature in this new way of living before going deeper.

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