Our little suburb is putting in new streets. It’s been a five-year project, and our street is part of the final phase. Before they can start digging up the old roadbed and begin actual construction, however, there’s a lot of prep work that has to happen. Giant holes appeared in our lawn last week, surrounded by yellow tape and barriers with lights that flash into our bedroom window all night. They have replaced all the sewer connections, and are now working on laying new water and gas lines. When all the utility work is done, they will start tearing out the old asphalt. New curbs and concrete driveway aprons will go in. Several lucky homeowners will find a runoff basin “rain garden” in their front lawns (my husband likes to call these “mosquito farms”). Finally, after six to eight weeks of noise and dust, we will have a beautiful new street.
We decided to go with the flow on this one. We aren’t planting a garden this year. Tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce have given way to marigolds and whatever else was dirt cheap at the garden center. The flowers will hold the soil in place while the dust flies, and I hope they will brighten the otherwise gloomy prospect of a year without fresh basil and tomatoes.
We are giving the garden – and ourselves – a sabbath rest. Lying fallow lets the earth replenish itself, and we don’t have to worry about synchronizing our canning schedule with the other events of our lives. We don’t have to worry about weeding and fertilizing, or pest control. Just letting the ground be ground for a season frees us to do things we may not have had time to do otherwise. Like sit by the firepit in the evening, or read a book that has been gathering dust on the “to read later” shelf. Or just be.
How do you allow yourself some time to lie fallow, to listen for God’s still, small voice, and to sit at the feet of Jesus?