putting the bulbs to bed

Having a garden helps me understand God. This morning I planted bulbs. It was four degrees when I went outside, but the sun was shining and stirring up the sweet aroma of resting dirt and rotting leaves. I had on my long-johns and puffy plaid jacket. I felt my way through the squiggly worms and small stones of the little plot under the walnut tree, digging down deep enough to put the daffodil bulbs to bed. How odd to be planting when all else is dying. What a ridiculous sort of hope it seems. I sang them a lullaby, praying all would be well, that the squirrells wouldn’t get in and gobble them up. It’s somehow easier to pray with dirt under my fingernails. I pray not only for the daffodils, but for my own heart. I know it’s full of rocks and weeds and ravens. There are days I’m sure it’s frozen over, days when all seems dead. But by a miracle, God has made death his speciality. So I pray that God will feel like gardening this morning too, that his little spade is sharp, that he’s saved a handful of crocuses for me.

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