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The Soil of Surrender

Spring was late this year. Already into May and the buds are just now beginning to unfold to the light. How long it seems that I have waited for the cold, gray days to retreat. For the clouds that loom to break apart and make way for the gentle warmth of the sun. This spring, it felt as if the world would forever be blanketed in brown.

Brown. The color created when all the colors on the palette haphazardly mix together without intention or care.

So, when the temperature rose to 65 degrees last week, I called the school day done. The children and I gathered up snacks and fishing poles, laced up our hiking shoes and headed out to the local state park to take in the burgeoning spring landscape. This hike was a much-needed venture for all of us since we had been staying close to home due to the shelter-in-place mandate. On the trail, the tension seemed to be swept away by the breeze. Bits of bright green, deep pine and creamy white punctuated the forest. Crossing over a muddy path overlaid with sticks, I looked down to see a most surprising sight. Out of the carpet of decaying leaves and sticks sprang up delicate white and pink flowers. These tiny bursts of color were connected by a vine-like stalk. As I knelt down to examine their delicate forms, my eyes gazed over the mass of brown that surrounded them. In that moment, I saw what beauty lie below. Not only was I amazed by this surprise of color, but the beauty of the shades of brown.

Deep mahogany, rust, pale umber- so many shades and subtlety to this color. Pale pink naturally draws my attention, but it took getting down to the ground for me to notice the beauty in the brown.

It is from this posture, of being on my knees, that I learn to see beauty in the places where the color of my life is all mixed together. When nothing seems to look or feel right. I am reminded of the lyrics from the song, “New Wine” by Hillsong:

“In the soil I now surrender, you are breaking new ground.”

On my knees I surrender my need to have life painted in the shades I think are beautiful. The soil of surrender is the ground in which seeds of joy are planted, creativity flourishes and new life springs forth.


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