The Greening of the Grass on This Side

May 2, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The grass is green again. Although, in my yard, casually tended as it is and home to an exuberant squirrel-chasing labradoodle, there remain many bare patches of not-so-green mud.

A week ago, I bought a bag of grass seed and made the rounds with it and a wheelbarrow of dirt to cover it up. Raking, scattering, shoveling, I mused about my work underfoot and also in the larger messy, muddy world around me, where I see so many bare patches worn down from a difficult year of friction and faction.

The evidence is everywhere: we are living through times when old systems of power and privilege are finally beginning to tumble. But they will not let go without resistance. Not just in the nation and the world but in our own hearts, the old ways hold on tenaciously, even when we wish they were gone. As a white person, I am committed to uprooting white supremacy and systemic racism in the world, but repeatedly I am called to return to my own thoughts, actions and identity to deracinate the white privilege that has shaped me, making room for something new to sprout.

I can become overwhelmed by this work. So much to be done, near and far. So easy to despair. And then, noticing the smallest hairs of green rising in my yard, I find hope, once again learning from the earth what I most need to grow.

Desiring a Lawn, Planting Seeds that Need to Let Go

Not only
do the seeds need water.
They require darkness too.

Enough burial
under soil tilled
and filled in
to soften the hold
of being seeds—

tucked in, covered up
as if for sleep
so they might dream their way
from husk to root
to shoot and sprout.

The fine green blades at last
breaking ground
mounded like a grave.
Waking, rising, the thin tendrils
shine like a whisper in the sun.

Why do I forget this?
That what I need most and first
might be the last thing I want—

to bury what is,
to lay down and let go
of who I am now,
the husk that must soften
in the darkness and dreaming
of uncounted nights

so that who I wish to become
might finally take root,
rise, find
its way into day.

I watch the grass grow,
remembering this.

What part of you or your identity might be waiting to be buried, to be softened, to be let go, so that something new – who you wish to become – might take root, find its way into the day?

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