Crusty surface gives way to damp, packed soil. The earth crumbles at my fingertips, falling into a million little particles that scatter in the sunlight. Brown flecks float in the air as I meticulously comb through the mound, picking out the pebbles and rocks, adding weight to the bucket at my side. I sigh. There is more here to discard than keep.
The full force of my strength goes into the rake. It’s sharp teeth scratching up the clods of ground, dragging them sluggishly to my feet. Another section of earth, all bound up and stuck together. Waiting for something to come in and break it apart. To pluck out the rocks, remove the tangled mass of weed, massage the hard masses into soft soil once again.
I look down at the bit I have cultivated. Smooth, bright, ready to receive the seeds. Ready to bear fruit. But small. The land I have yet to work stretches on, a strip of garden in stubborn rebellion after a long winter.
My shoulders droop. All this dirt. Could a garden grow up from this ground? Hard, compacted, rocky, and pressed down? It’s a heap. A mess, a pile of doom no seed would ever survive. So unready, but yet so brimming with potential. Much like me. The progress beautiful, but the work still so incredibly daunting.
Which is why I dig and push and turn it over. Poke and prod and break it up again. Over and over whacking away at this clump of a heart.
Cultivate. Prepare. Enrich.
Because You make beautiful things out of dirt.