This week has been a welcome break. Warm, Spring-like weather has awakened the gardener in me and I’ve spent as much time outside as possible.

Tuesday I began the task of pulling aside the cardboard and turning over the damp soil under it.  As I did so, I pulled out roots and grass and broke up clumps.

Wiggly worms of all sizes were exposed to light as the cardboard came off.  I imagined them blinking their non-existent eyes as their world suddenly went from darkness to sunlit.

In some places the cardboard and newspaper was little more than compost. This I incorporated into the soil – a welcome amendment.

The cardboard that resisted the touch of earth, rain and the nibble of earthworms became a walkway between rows – the ground underneath will not be turned until the garden is prepped for next season.

Three hours I worked in the warm sun.  The dirt, cool and sweet smelling, yielded itself easily to the touch and pull of the garden fork. My right hand became my work hand as she busied herself plucking grass and roots from the damp overturned soil.  Before long she was dirt encrusted and heavy.

My old work shoes (yes, I still have them) became heavy from the load of dirt the soles carried. Three times I took them off and knocked the dirt from them.

As I worked, I felt muscles come alive that had grown stiff and shriveled. Alive – that’s how I felt…what I felt.

After three hours of work, I stepped back and surveyed my garden.  11/12’s of it was still covered with untouched cardboard. A 12 x 12 plot had been dug and a cardboard path marked its center.

A fat robin sat atop the fence and eyed the freshly turned soil.  I admonished her to leave my earthworms alone (I’d carefully covered each with soil) and that she was to eat only “bad” bugs. She hopped from her perch and plucked a grub from the soil and gulped it down.

I’ve a lot yet to do. Perhaps I bit off more than I can chew with the size of this backyard garden.

No, this is the middle of February. There’s plenty of time (if sunny days outnumber rainy and occasional warm days thaw the ground). I can do this.

I know God will give me the strength and the ability.

After all, His eye is on the Robin and I know He watches me.

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