For the Weary

You step outside, imagining. The square of ground before you will look different. Beauty, like scents on the dew-sprinkled wind, will show up after you’ve done your work and your waiting. So you begin.

Where did all those roots beneath the grasses come from, you wonder, gouging clods of soil. Their tearing sound as they release their grip goes on for hours. Your strength is tested and holds.

A shovel blade beneath your mud-caked boot invades dirt clumps a thousand times. Worms on your periphery squiggle. You tug them, sometimes parts of them you’ve dismembered, and plunk them out of your way. A beetle family scuttles for shade, the giant grandfather slow beneath black, armored wings.

As sections of dark earth appear, muscles between your shoulders burn. You wipe your forehead, spotting specks of green in the still too-chunky bed. Your gloved hands grasp at missed weeds; you know more of their quick, bright shoots will grow up almost tomorrow.

Yet as you straighten, spine crackling, and adjust the bright scarf on your head, your sigh is contentment. The work wanted here is a good work.

If you were expected to build an enormous shelter for every lost soul, and if you tried to do the job, you know you’d fail. If your ordained task was to glorify a single city block with flower beds and park-like lawns, you’d stumble.

In the space before you wait more grassy clumps, more brutish clods. And days to go until planting. To cover the seeds you’ve been given. To watch slender tendrils poke forth, to wrest out weeds. To let what happen will. Though difficult, it is far from a burdensome task.

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