(post by Joann Hallum of Ostriches Look Funny; to read more about the Imperfect Prose on Thursdays Team, visit here)

“Humility is endless.”-t.s. eliot

I pitter patter through patty pan, squashing ants and pulling wayward weeds, praying for roots.

The cat’s been pooping in the green beans again, so we’ll wash them once they’re big and bean-y. The pincer bugs hurry by, waving weird appendages as they tumble over twigs. Two orange dragonflies spin in the sun. I buy the sort of snail killer that says “SNAIL KILLER” in bright red angry letters.

I sprinkle death with glee, waiting for empty shells.

The wind is blowing ghost children in the swings again, and since my second son, I have had broken feelings, so I garden.

I’ve asked for medical help and have gotten the rainbow hued advice that leads to hopelessness. The last Doctor told me to take some ibuprofen. I take it.

I stay up late at night in a rage regarding my kitchen table. Even in my anger I can see the silly, but I can’t stop. I whisper to my husband who murmurs into his pillow while I cry and list all the things that are wrong with the slab of wood by the window seat.

I have slowly started to join the ranks of people who can’t trust their emotions farther than a large kitchen table. It was unsettling at first, to be so upset about so little. It’s unsettling at last, but I cling to certain things. I cling to crinkled pages of the Word, to gardens, and Snail Bait with red declarative letters.

My son interrupts the story and asks me softly, “Why does God never catch me when I fall?”
I can see him trace the scab on his knee, and I’m startled to silence.

Suddenly I know why I love the garden: It’s a promise for the fallen.
Sometimes we need dirt to grow. Sometimes we need to feel buried, sometimes we need scars. It’s not falling down, it’s growing up.

God doesn’t need my strength. He doesn’t need my perfection. He has called me from my cracked life.

I get over my pride while I water the onions. I belong with the earth, but I’m joining the corn, stretching stalks up to heaven.

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image by Jessica Ketchum