Last night after dinner, I went outside to do some weed-eating. Weeding is one of those jobs I really can’t stand doing, even with an effective tool like a weed-eater…although my weed-eater has its issues. I don’t mind mowing the grass, but it’s the detail work that seems too meticulous. But I do it because I also can’t stand looking at grass or weeds along the edge of the yard.
When I came in from this painstaking task, it seems God had a remedy for my complaining. I receive the weekly blog post from Chris and Jenny Jackson, local farmers from Pine Mountain and frequent visitors to St. Nicholas. Chris is a fantastic writer himself and in this week’s post, he taught me a thing or two about the spirituality of weeding. With his permission, I submit it for your own spiritual reflection:
Weeding has been branded with a sour reputation I suppose because it’s work and requires repetitive, monotonous, mindless movement when a suitable machine could substitute, relieving one of wastefulness and imposition. A person of this “progressive” mindset might refrain; “work smarter not harder” for time is our most precious asset and all else buckles under the weight of her mobility. I am certainly no Luddite, though I would boast of such credentials. I do dabble in the time-saving treasures of modern machinery with full disclosure a purist I unfortunately am not. But I do believe the practice of weeding offers us an opportunity to slow down into a noiseless, clutter-free, spiritual space and find rhythm with where we find ourselves now, in the present. I enjoy quite conversations with nature, dialoguing in her ear what I should have said during real-life conversations to better convey my point or just fleshing out my views on certain hot button political issues of the day. Nature listens but never criticizes, allowing me to be foolish and wise all in the same breath, and providing me space to fit just a little more securely into my own skin. The back and forth of the smooth, steel scuffle hoe slides easy through the sandy soil clicking from its connection with the wooden handle, carefully enhancing the meditative movements of the mind and body. Although good weeding takes practice, most anyone with the desire certainly can participate. It does not require a degreed person or a privileged person or even a well-behaved person though I would certainly prefer the outlaws stay out from my garden patches. Weeding will not solve the world’s perilous problems or cure cancers or produce just policy, but it grants all who inquire a stage to become more at peace and if there is one thing we need more of in our relationships and in our politics and in our religion and in our broken behavior, it’s peace.
Who knew the pulling or massacring of unwanted vegetation could provide such spiritual introspection? Without commenting too much on this fantastic reflection, I leave it to you to consider what seemingly mundane tasks provide you peace, and what areas of your life need some weeding?
Check out more great seeds of wisdom from Chris & Jenny at jennyjackfarm.com. Thank you Chris!