Weeding My Heart

Seeking, and finding, renewal.

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ILLUSTRATIONS BY LINDA COOK DEVONA

It’s been a long day. Caring for Mom, who has advanced dementia, makes every day a long day; but today has been particularly trying. I know I need to get out for a while to restore my energy so I can continue to patiently and lovingly attend to her physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. My wonderful husband says he will stay with Mom while I go out to enjoy the early evening air.

I decide to go for a bike ride. That always refreshes me. Usually a few minutes into my ride, I am able to take a deep breath, all the way down to my belly. Not today. I bike for 15 minutes, but I’m too emotionally and physically worn to ride any more. That deep, renewing breath doesn’t come.

I park my bike at the top of the drive and notice some weeds growing in the flower bed. I’m not ready to go into the house yet, so I pull a few weeds, and then some more. I don’t mind pulling weeds. It puts some order into my life, a feeling of accomplishment. It clears my mind, then allows me to reflect and pray.

Weeding has always helped me to appreciate the beauty of the garden. Today it helps me appreciate the beauty of caring for Mom.

Soon the flower bed is weed-free. Chaos has been eliminated, order has been restored—not only in the garden, but in my heart, as well. I have taken a breath all the way down to my belly.

I go back into the house renewed. Ready once again to enter into the beauty that awaits me.


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