Throwing Mulch And Chopping Roots

Lord, have mercy. My hands hurt. My back hurts. My legs hurt.

Before….stay tuned for AFTER!

#staycation 2014 had a lot of yard work on the schedule, and today was The Day. I worked it hard, and was extraordinarily blessed by the presence of my husband and his assistance and wisdom.

(And his muscles.)

Now, neither one of us can move for the aches and pains. Tonight, he said, “I’m supposed to be a grandpa soon*. Grandpa’s aren’t supposed to move 4 yards of mulch and 4 yards of dirt all in the same day.”

Apparently he doesn’t know my mother very well.

We worked hard and we made great progress. We took a field trip as well, and visited a friend at work. We also pulled a huge pile of insulation into the attic, which was sort of out of place on Yard Work Day, but it needed doing. So we did it.

And then we had Chick-fila.

And now we’re going to collapse.

/ /

There are lessons in the work, and I learned them today. The swish / clack / thump of him with the pitchfork, me with the rake, working in rhythmic tandem to pull piles of pungent mulch onto the ground. The thwack of the sprinkler against the wall. The strain of push and pull, back and forth, working a rooted, established plant out of the ground and moving it a few feet north.

That plant, it protested. I finally got it up and out; but to my dismay, I realized that I’d cut right through the root with the sharp point of the shovel. I stuck in the ground anyway, and gently tamped down fresh soil around it. Twenty minutes later, it was in shock; it drooped sadly towards the dirt.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Plants – like people – are often surprisingly resilient. But everybody needs roots to stand tall.

Roots remind us of all that has been formed in us, all that has been poured out of other vessels into our own. I know how to rake, and to shovel, and how to maneuver a wheelbarrow, because of the instruction of my father and mother. One of my earliest memories is of my father telling me to keep the insulation off of my arms; my parents built their first house, and I was six, and I clearly recall that lesson from my dad every time I get anywhere near the pink stuff.

I’m rooted in such things.

This marriage, though younger in years, is rooted, as well. In love, of course; and mutual respect and admiration. But also, there is brokenness, and the realization of where our roots have torn in years past, of the ways we – and those we love – have been left protesting, drooping. Weakened.

We spoke yesterday of years before, of other relationships. “My first marriage…it’s never far from my mind. There’s always some reminder. It’s not just in the past…it’s still part of me now.”

The roots of who we are grow thicker, year by year, and the impact of any movement at all marks us. It doesn’t go away. All things are new, for sure, but the bedrock and foundation of who we are, of how we are formed – it stays with us.

And new buds are formed.

And one day, my husband will be the grandfather to the children of my children, and this family will be the groundwork, the substructure of who they will become.

And we’ll still be throwing mulch and planting flowers, and watching things grow.

*For the record, no one is pregnant. We’re just thinking about grandkids…because we are. 🙂

7 thoughts on “Throwing Mulch And Chopping Roots

  1. OK I can say this since you mentioned it here. And you recently wrote about the piano that you had been hoping for, that finally arrived. When you turn #babygrand around you get #grandbaby…hmmm…


  2. I can only say I like this very much… today I was talking about my husband and missing him very much… and so yes I know. And no matter how much time passes, our roots are inextricably woven… for better or for worse.
    Me I like Ann's 10 second rule.
    I like that y'all worked hard… I miss that.


  3. Thanks for doing so much work, mama. I'm glad I have parents who show their love for me this way! Also, it is a great investment for you guys 🙂 Also glad to have a mama who digs into her life and past and isn't afraid to work and wrestle with things that need to be dealt with. Glad I have solid roots. I love you


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