When we moved here, I dug a small flower bed into our plain square of lawn. As the hunks of turf piled up beside me, I wondered what I should do with them.
I remembered my mum once telling me how you could use turfs to build a raised flower bed by turning them upside down and letting the grass underneath die.
So that’s what I did.
I piled the grassy squares face-down onto my newly created bed and stood back to survey the effect.
It didn’t look much, if I’m honest: grass was peeking out at the sides and I only had a couple of small shrubs with which to try to disguise the ugly clumps of turf.
But there it was: our garden’s first flower bed.
I didn’t think much about my little flower bed until last week, when I found myself crouched next to it with a tray full of seedlings that had out-grown their sunny spot on our windowsill.
I picked up my fork and poked at the earth, and what happened next surprised me.
I found that the chunky squares of turf had completely disappeared. All that grass and it’s accompanying web of roots were nowhere to be seen and in it’s place was soil that crumbled at my touch: the perfect home for my new seedlings.
And so I popped my budding little plant babies into their new bed.
Hopefully in a few weeks, there will be leafy greenness that covers the bare soil.
And in a few months, I might just have a bed full of crazy-faced, smiling daisies, lanky and over-crowded in my daft little patch.
Sometimes God whispers that it’s time for us to stop being soil that grows grass; that it’s time to let our lives be used for other purposes.
Maybe we catch the fragrance of a new breeze somewhere on the very edge of our current experience, one that holds the promise of hope and growth and beautiful flowers – if we’re only willing to flip upside-down and allow the things we’ve been clinging to, to wither.
The trouble is that tough, rooty clumps of upturned turf don’t turn into the sort of soil baby daisies love overnight.
The process needs time: time for nature to do it’s work.
Time for the grass to be starved of light in order for those tenacious little roots to wither and let go.
Time for the squares of lawn to cease identifying themselves as hunks of grass and settle back into what they have always been at heart: good soil, ready to support and grow whatever might be planted there.
The process isn’t always comfortable: my flower bed looked pretty ropey for quite a long time.
But we have a Gardener who can be trusted to bring about great beauty if we just trust His timing and His plans.
All we need to do is to take whatever steps are necessary to revert our lives back to being nothing more impressive than willing, warm, welcoming soil… then wait.
Wait for whatever good things the Gardener chooses to plant in us next.