I was telling someone about the trouble I'm having with my knees, and she asked if I knelt a lot. My first thought was "Well, I pray quite a bit..." and then thought, "Duh! I'm a gardener! I'm always kneeling to weed."
Which got me to thinking about the similarities between weeding and praying. Both involve efforts to eradicate the prickly or the ugly from our lives. Both involve seeking forgiveness for small omissions and damage done through ignorance or carelessness, for not mulching properly, for harsh words spoken, for last year's mistakes not pulled out before they went to seed. Some things -- harsh words, scattered dandelion fluff -- can't be regathered or retracted. But there is always the promise to do better next time.
In both praying and weeding, the point is to dig deep, turn up the surface to find the unpleasant secrets underneath, to eliminate the harmful, and to compost the bad things in life into something beautiful and useful. To reach out both hands to grapple with nature, with my nature. To connect with the universe, with something bigger and wiser than I am. To learn to trust the Master of the garden. In both prayer and the garden, I seek to touch love, to find nourishment. To find hope.
A glimpse of warm sun
alleviates my dark and
rain for a moment.
A glimpse of God's son,
and I step boldly forward,
embracing storm clouds.