As some of you know I have, with the help of the wonderful team of Bob and Garrett Griffith, created a raised bed vegetable garden.
I love it. Veggies, you know? But here’s the problem… Bailey the Rescuepoo wandered out past the garden and was suddenly all muddy, as many short-legged white dogs might be. So I followed him, trying to get him to come back. Bath time.
And then it happened. I stepped… and my foot dissolved into nothing! I leaped up, and out and over! I don’t think I touched the solid ground for four feet. Up, by magical motion and out, by sheer will. And there was shrieking. The sort of shrieking one expects from a horror film.
I ran back into the kitchen and called The Best Beloved. “Didn’t you hear me scream???”
“Fine, well, that’s duly noted, but we have a problem.”
“What do you mean?” he asked, with that look that means he thinks I’m exaggerating. (And ok, sometimes I am.)
“Come. Look at this.” I found a big stick that had been torn off one of our trees in the recent storms. I walked The Best Beloved to the Problem Spot. It poked it.
This four-foot area jiggled like a bowl of jelly under the turf.
Shudder. Right. That. It’s like a huge zit about to burst in our garden. (I apologize, that’s disgusting but it’s what it looks like.)
And okay, I know that it’s a drainage problem and it can be fixed. But let’s, for the moment, think of it as metaphor: You think you’re standing on solid ground and then, all of a sudden, you’re not. I mean you’re NOT. Your foot, your heart, your mind, falls down into the soggy swamp of nothingness. TERROR.
What do we trust when the earth falls out from beneath us? When everything we thought was solid – earth, relationships, faith, the government, our art, whatever.. all gone… — how do we keep faith?
I don’t have the answer, but I can tell you what I practice. I practice this: a belief that no matter how the ground (metaphorical and actual) beneath me behaves, I trust I am held and loved, and cared for, and guided by something greater than I can understand.
It takes time, occasionally (snort) to get there. It takes tea with friends, and meditation and prayer and screaming into my pillow, and remembering moments when I thought for sure I would die but didn’t (more on that in future posts). It takes acceptance that sometimes the ground will be weird and treacherous. And yet. And still… we are here, right here, and not alone.
I found this image, and part of me thinks it’s way too over the top, but another part of my thinks it’s perfect. Is it possible that being unsettled (as in the swamp thing) is a teaching moment? Maybe. Maybe. Thoughts? I’m listening.