Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dirty Opportunity

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

- Thomas Edison

Oh, I so love spring and the WORK of getting a garden ready. Soccer mom, me? Not on your life. Give me dirt and lots of it and a boat-load of kids and I am in my element. Shiny happy dirty faces all around and hearts full of HOPE for what is to come of their effort. If there is a better lesson or more life-giving task for kids than gardening, I am sure I can't think of one. Life and death, work and reward, sowing and reaping . . . tend to your life's soil and keep it fertile or neglect it and let it grow all full of rocks and weeds. Oh, the parallels I can draw during a day in the dirt! They listen . . . Some roll eyes, "MOM! Do you have a metaphor for EVERY single part of gardening???"  Some laugh, "Does it really say THAT in the Bible???"  Some are quiet and ponder the lesson. All take it in. I know this because I knelt in the dirt so many years ago with my mom and dad. Learned just about everything I've ever needed to know there.

This year, we are growing more than vegetables and fruit. And the work of it all is intense and good and who would have guessed that this gardening would also grow a family. Here, the new kids can show their stuff. For this is their element too - farming and living off the land. You can almost see the relief rise up in them. They know dirt. Love it too. This has helped them remember Africa and call back good memories of mother and father and a family that was. It has also helped them heal and create memories of a family that is to be.  It has helped brother bond with brother and sister with sister.  It has made small ones feel important and oh, so big.  Truly, every single person has an important part to play.  A level playing field here, and all bets are off as to who is M.V.P.  Just might be the wee one picking up rocks.  :-)

We are working swift and sure, growing and saving and storing away for winter.  Building a farm that will hopefully build character and integrity and profit of many sorts.

Pulling up the overalls and preparing for the opportunity to come . . .