We bowed deep- cut and pulled and then ever so gently, wiped the dirt from the ever so slight growth. Section by section, we dropped to the ground, knees firmly planted into the thawing earth, cutting and pulling and wiping away until we saw what, in a matter of months, would delight. In what seemed like the first time in a very long time, as she delighted in each new life uncovered, I could feel my little ones ever so soft whisper and it was she who was beside me. Then too the earth was thawing and the remnants of winter’s torments lay scattered across the yard- discarded branches, broken limbs dangling from trees, patches of brown grass determined to green.
We would make our way around to each garden- she and I in the mornings after my brave one set sail on his yellow ship. I would cut and pull and she would kneel beside me, her tiny-gloved fingers loosening the soil determined to encounter the worms she knew would be found. She knew that beneath the beaten, but not broken surface, beauty lived. She just knew. Squeals of delight would fill the air, her gloves would fly off and the worm, caked with bits of cold dirt inched across her hand. She cooed over them, collected them in her bucket and huddled over the bucket speaking to them before returning them to their home. She would seek worms in the same way the robins covering the yard confidently pecked at the greening grass.
She saw so much more and it wasn’t until knees firmly planted in the thawing earth of this season that I truly understood. Her confidence, her hope, her joy of emerging season- she saw beyond the cutting and pulling the dangling limbs and scarred grass. Winter had delivered its blows and while ever fiber of my being was ready to accept defeat- the smallest growth had broken through. It was the reminder- my friend’s gentle voice joining in chorus with my little one’s delighting in what was found below the seemingly conquered landscape. Dangling limbs will be pruned and trees will heal-presenting it’s glorious leafed foliage. Delicate crocus will push through and pepper the landscape with bursts of color amidst the greening grass. Mamas and their babies will awaken to the warm sun and their voices will fill the earth with song. New life emerges- it always has and always will. Spring will always come. In the moments that I doubt that truth, I will stand resolute in seeing as Catherine saw, delighting in what Catherine delighted and trusting in the seemingly small growth- knowing the reality is- the seemingly small is enormously large.