Crazy takes on the jungle

(This is yet another post in the “Started and then forgotten” category. It could also apply to basically any Saturday in May, so I figured I’d post it anyway).

It is a Saturday morning at the Little House. The cake is baked, the turkey is in the roaster (I am only this together when I am cooking for other people- I will probably end up eating raisin bran for dinner myself). The birds are singing loudly. The main part of the house is relatively clean since I cleaned for company a couple days ago. It looks like the sky may open and pour at any moment. And I borrowed the metal detector from work. Time to find some property corners. So far I found one (near the “grape arbor”) so I thought I’d find the one opposite that to establish the front line. Fencing is on the brain. It is SO time for a fence. And not just because Maggie is angry. Suzie is also wandering and exploring further than I’d like- and though she always comes back, it is far from ideal. And Maggie is angry and digging holes near the deck. I should have done the fence last fall but spent the entire season painting the house. And now spring is here at last! Time for a fence.

So there I was, figuring I’d poke around and see what I can see. Except the place where the corner should be is a complete jungle. An overgrown, impassable jungle of junk trees, leaves, garbage, etc. Sigh. So I put on my gloves and start clipping. I clip for a long time and finally go find the hand saw. The pile in the driveway grows by the minute.

And of course, as is usually the case when I start weeding, I ponder sin. Maybe I’m the only person alive who always has such a deep and spiritual experience with weeds, but it happens every time. I think about how much easier it is to yank those tiny shoots before they become 20 foot tall trees. Just a yank, a flick of the wrist, and they are gone. Sin is the same way. If we are diligent and paying attention to the small patterns of sin in our lives, we can rip them out so much easier than if we wait until it is a big 20 foot tree!! Small sins become larger sins. And why do we let them grow? Because sometimes we’re just tired. Sometimes it is easier to justify them than take the time to root them out. And then there it is, a junk tree, choking out the life and the beauty that was once there because getting rid of it was too painful.  I’m struck at the magnitude of the gift of salvation. We aren’t left to deal with this sin problem on our own- because we could never do it! It was while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He opened his arms and died for us, so that we can experience eternal glory with Him! And yet, we get hung up on the brambles, the weeds. He died to take away our sin and we’re too afraid that it is going to take a little work to root out the weeds creeping into our lives.


So there I was, having a good prayer time and meditating on sin, while clipping small trees and shoots, sawing down the big ones, and finding a forsaken, hidden garden underneath all the mess! There are a few peony bushes (one of my favorites), some spring bulbs, something I haven’t yet identified but I know it is a flower, and old, mostly dead rose bush. This was once someone’s garden area!! Last year I didn’t know any of this was here because it was so overrun with weeds and junk (cue more mediation about sin and the glorious gift of salvation).

An hour and half later when it starts raining, I’m thankful for the excuse to go in. It is only noon on Saturday and I am anticipating how sore I will be tomorrow. The pile of brush and trees in my driveway is now larger than my car. And now I’m dreaming about what I want to do with this newly uncovered garden space. Because clearly you can never have enough garden and this one has already been started!! I’ve got irises from Lindsey to put somewhere they can invade without destroying- this might be just the place. It only rained briefly so naturally (not knowing when to quit) I went back out and worked for another hour or so. And then sliced turkey, frosted a cake, showered and ran out the door to deliver dinner and go to Mass.

brush pile

The weekend kicked my butt big time, but I got a lot accomplished:

  • Jungle cleared (it sounds so simple, doesn’t it?) and enormous brush pile created
  • Half of brush pile hauled to burn pile
  • Dinner cooked and delivered
  • Fold and put away clean towels (leave clothes in a basket wrinkling)
  • Two baby quilts made- and almost finished but not quite
  • Cushion covers for wicker porch furniture sewn (hacked)
  • Help some friends with yard work while hanging out – get a free peony out of the deal
  • Brief visit with new baby friends (to plant a rose bush from other friends)
  • Pick up plants that I’d stashed at my mom’s last summer
  • Plant all retrieved / donated plants
  • Haul a couple wheelbarrows of leaves and sticks

Somehow at the end of the weekend, my kitchen is a mess and the dog hair is taking over the living room and I hurt everywhere.  And yet it is the hurt of accomplishment and I love my yard even more now than before 🙂 This may be a common theme this summer as I work my tail off to catch up on the neglect and transform it from jungle to purposeful yard.

rocking chairfuniture

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