When I categorize time periods of my life, I refer to them as “seasons”. In some churches, “season of life” is Christianese for “life stage you’re currently complaining about”, but I like to think it’s more versatile. I overuse the word season because it has a few different contexts in English that I feel can all apply. It could be a quarterly season that changes with the weather, or a series of episodes like in TV, or seasoning like spices (okay it’s a stretch, but I do a lot of cooking so it’s relevant).
The season I’m about to enter is a season of uprooting. There are major life decisions coming my way (new lease, job opportunities, graduate school plans, etc.) that have me ready to clean out my current life so there’s room for the new one. Originally, I felt the urge to pack and clean and prepare, and I referred to it as “the opposite of nesting”, which made my roommate helpfully offer “uprooting” in response. I am not much of a patient gardener, so I’m ready to rip things out by their roots.
It may be a bold move for me to use plant metaphors considering everything I touch dies, but it’s accurate right now. You know how when you’re weeding a garden, and when you pull something out by its roots it disrupts everything around it? There’s a hole in the ground with tousled up dirt all around the edges, and bits and pieces of whatever you were pulling up (because if you’re like me, the successful attempt was not the first one). Uprooting does that—it disrupts and damages and leaves a mess, for the sake of something new and good.
Uprooting isn’t always easy. I helped a friend weed around his house a few weeks ago and discovered that I am actually the adult equivalent of a child ripping out palmfuls of grass from the yard. More than a few times I said, “Uhh, yeah couldn’t get that one,” and pointed to a leafless stem jutting out of the ground, stripped of all signs of life. Which seemed fair to me, considering it had stripped me of my dignity.
Despite being out-stubborned by something dependent on photosynthesis, this season is a blessing. I’m feeling and reflecting on how raw the soil of my heart is. Every bitter root that I have to fight tooth and nail to remove is exhausting and painful, but it means change is coming. Change for the better. There are also some leafless stems that I have fought against, standing up defiantly, which may take some extra help from my friends.
Maybe right now my heart is just a pile of cratered dirt. I’m cool with that. It’s at least one step above blackhole. I’m entering winter ready to be planted, so watch me bear sunflowers come January. I’ve ripped out the grass on accident, mistaken weeds for wildflowers, and gotten my hands dirty; investing in myself and my healing is starting to be so, so worth it.