We had our farm planning and dream meeting… exciting hopes and ideas shared across the table amongst our family. Also in the midst of brainstorming, the basic discussion of clean up surfaced. It’s no lie, we live on an old farm, with an old barn, and other out buildings. When we moved here in 2010, we were shocked by the amount of stuff left behind – from multiple previous owners. We spent weekends hauling debris and garbage, sorting and salvaging, trying to make sense of the layers and abundance of stuff. But, we haven’t finished.
Last week there was a warmish day – we made a plan – more clean up around the farm! We all set out (kids, too!) and we began gathering old wood pieces, scrap metal laying around, found an old cooler rotted through, broken glass was loosed from muddy holes near our old grainery. Then I found coils of old barbed wire near a tree in our back woods. It was well past rusted – who knows how old this was, but part of it was buried deep under soil and roots. Just a few paces away from this spot, I spied a corner of tin jutting out of the earth. An old tin roof shingle was discovered… and then another and another. I pulled as many as I could out from the black soil, and what you see in the picture above is the wheel barrow filled with them. There is still more out there in the back woods.
What struck me as I was digging and maneuvering these old rusted shingles our of the ground, was the importance of excavation within ourselves. And the winter months are such a time for this, as it is for us to do some clean up around the farm. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” the Ecclesiastical author said. We have all heard it and deep within we know this: life is all about seasons; times of change, times of struggle, times of joy, times of unearthing the stuff within.
Being from Florida and living now in Virginia, I treasure each Season for what it brings as well as the natural rhythm each one stirs in me. Winter time draws us in, where it’s warm and cozy. Can we listen to our bodies and take time with our mind and heart to dig deep within and unearth some of the junk that has built in our lives? Our culture is so busy, doing and moving, coming and going. Excavation work is tedious and just plain hard. But I can tell you, the earth looked so much healthier and as it ought once those old tin shingles were lifted out. I’m still figuring it out – the work is never truly done, but it’s worth the time to dig a bit.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.