I'm outside in the heat of a cooler-than-normal May day thanking God that we didn't put our plants into the early spring soil this weekend.
Last night was so cold, many of the delicate plants probably would have suffered.
Instead of sowing into the ground this afternoon, I'm heaving the hoe heavy into the dirt, trying to clear the garden of dandelions and the like.
My husband insisted that we didn't need to cut the weeds out with a sod cutter even though they grew in wild and dense, a field of greens and yellows spread thick across the plot of land designated for harvest and bounty.
Just last weekend he insisted that I could take the hoe and lightly sink it into the ground and the weeds would come up easy.
But that was in the mostly clean part of the garden.
I'm standing in sprawling cover of them, and these roots, they go deep.
I'm shouldering that hoe higher and higher and higher and sinking it deeper and deeper and deeper into the earth, and still, the roots keep going.
My mentor sat at my dining room table a few hours earlier, early morning sun casually spilling in through the window, as I led her into the early-spring garden of my heart, a place that's half overgrown, a mess of weeds rooted deeply over a good chunk. I cried, shared that it seems like winter has been forever long and when's the frost going to fade into dew? When's the weeding season going to come to a close for now? I'm so ready for the weeds to be gone.
She doesn't answer with precise time but she says something about how everything takes time.
Of course, I'd said, she was right. It would take time to clear my heart of grief, to clear my mind of the trauma of losing three babies in just over a year's time, to pull out the roots anxiety and even the fear that settles into the heart after such losses. And rightly so. Those achings linger long in a mother's heart after a winter like this.
I'm better than I was two months ago to the day. Worlds better even now than just two Mondays ago.
Time. It takes time.
I stand in the soil, sink my feet into its crumbled rocks, wipe the wind-blown hair from my face and take note of the tiny section I've cleared of weeds during the span of an entire hour.
It doesn't seem like much, but I can feel in my muscles the hard work of clearing deeply rooted weeds.
And, tomorrow, I'll clear out some more.