[EDITORS NOTE (honestly, I’m the editor, I just wanted to sound fancy): As of this morning at 4 AM, a crazy hail storm swept through and took it all. Looks like a bomb exploded. But I still feel the same. It still was – and is – the dream. <3]
I was digging in the garden. I’m new to this. I bought a book and YouTubed until my eyes vibrated, but I was determined to get back to freaking basics around here!
The woman who lived in this house before me planted rosh bushes. Roses are gorgeous, but whatever. They are also thorny and violent and filled with rage. After tilling the soil and making room for my garden, I looked like I had just emerged from a fox hole. Splattered in dirt, mud was smeared on my face and caked in my nails. I was cut up and bloodied like I had tried to put a pissy house cat in a bath.
But I wasn’t giving up, I was in too deep and had spent way too much money at Lowe’s already.
Digging, I came across yet another worm. But he was different. He was huge. Almost snake like. Real puffy, like me when I go on a sugar cookie bender. You know those super junky ones you get near the deli section at the grocery store with the thick frosting and sprinkles? Eat an entire plastic box of those like I did at my neighborhood block party and then look down at your freshly developed sausage fingers.
That was this worm.
Just then I heard my Lucy call out to me from the back deck, “Mommy, What are you doing?”
“I’m in the garden, baby – look at this worm!”
She made her way down the stairs wearing a unicorn tank top and Peppa Pig undies (no pants, just cuz). As she came closer, she screamed. Then I screamed and we laughed. She was delighted by the sight of him, but afraid of him too. “Here, let’s put him back so he can help our tomatoes grow big and strong,” and I put him back into the soil where he slipped away faster than you’d think possible with his little fat ass. Back into the cold, dark earth, pulling down nutrients along the way. Helping to feed my family just by being himself.
“Let’s find more worms, Mommy!” Lucy squealed. With each scoop we found 2 or 3, 5 or 6. Squealing and laughing at every one.
I just knew instinctively – this was the point. This was the dream I really wanted. This was the life I had been looking for all this time.
Not the big house, the Range Rover, the Apple Watch or a Stitch Fix membership. Not success, or fans, or likes or hearts. Not the approval of a tribe that’s too busy thinking about themselves to even give a crap, or a group of best friends who really don’t know me at all. True happiness is right here. Not in my phone or anxiety ridden mind – just outside – in this dirt.
Yes, we must be aware and active, voting and serving. Yes, we must work – for some seasons quite a lot. We must parent and get “Baby Shark” stuck in our heads until we feel desperate and hopeless. Yes, some stretches of time are set aside for grief, or healing, or stewing or lying dormant until it’s time to be renewed.
But when things tilt too far and screws start to fall out and hinges begin to bust – I have this to set things rights again. I just have to be willing to get surprisingly filthy and see the miracle of life’s little ecosystem for myself. It didn’t even matter if I had planted everything all wrong and not a single tomato grew.
Lucy and I were just two girls who loved each other, delighting in the way God made things.
Honestly, I had no idea until now – that’s all I ever wanted.