About a month ago, we planted our vegetable garden and gave the children a nice sized plot for a flower garden. It was an all day project. We had neglected our lawn, front and back, for a while now, and it took most of the day to simply prepare the yard for planting.
It has been fun to watch the kids get old enough to work at some of these projects around the house. Mr. Carefree, typical 8 year old boy who loves a challenging project, was given the task of uprooting some very large and out of control weeds. Those roots were deep! He sat so determined to conquer and I truly admired his grit and persistence, as he dug and dug, pulled with all his might, and kept telling the girls, “I’ll get it. I’ve almost got it!”
The look on his face when I joined him in finally pulling that huge root out, was absolutely priceless. He conquered. He won over this beast of a challenge, and his face was not just happy, he was satisfied with himself, that his perseverance won out after all. We examined the entire root base, the large roots down to the small, and had a great conversation about how water travels up to the plant top from these tiny roots that spread underground. But we also talked about how even those little tiny roots are strong, because even if we thought this big weed was coming out at any second, it still hung on, tightly woven into the deepest, darkest soil below.
It was a great moment and all the children by this time had gathered around to see the great accomplishment Carefree had done, and we all thoroughly examined this huge piece that caused so much angst. It’s one of those moments, I’ll be so glad, that I was there, that we worked together as a family, that I got to see him, actually see his confidence in himself elevating. That was something, truly something.
It reminded me of that Veggie Tale, “The Rumor Weed”, such a great lesson using a dandelion weed to show how dangerous things can spread, and are tough to battle sometimes. This Veggie Tale concerns itself with rumors or gossip, and seeing that huge root that Carefree pulled out, truly brought to mind how things spread out of control, and how it takes quite a bit of sweat and determination to remove every part. Not to mention, if we left a little bit, that same weed, would come back with a vengeance…..How gossip works in this same way!
Years ago, I heard a great story about a woman visiting a confessional. She confessed her sin of gossip, and she received the most interesting penance from the priest. He said, “For your penance, I want you to take a feather pillow, rip a tear in it, and then go outside, and flap that pillow back and forth. Then I want you to come back and see me in a week.”
Confused but obedient, she went home and did just as she was instructed. She took that feather pillow in her back yard, ripped a hole in it and flapped it about, watching the massive amounts of white feathers escape and blow in the breeze.
A week later, she returned to her priest, and told him, she did as she was told but didn’t quite understand why.
Her priest then asked her to do one more thing. He said, “Now I want you to go home and pick up all those feathers that you saw emptied out of that pillow.”
She was seriously confused, “Father, there’s no way, that was a week ago, and all those feathers have blown, even mostly out of my own back yard, and into neighbors yards, and beyond. There’s no way to get all those feather back.”
Father explained, “Yes, I know. It is the same with gossip. You’ll never get it all back. So this is a sin, you must conquer, because to undo what has been done in gossip, is impossible.
Copyright 2010 Sahmatwork