I enjoy cutting the grass. Really, I do. There is something satisfying about putting music in your ears and pushing the mower through the green blades, getting an immediate result.
My husband and I have had four homes throughout our married years. By far the easiest yard to cut was the one that was completely flat with no obstruction. While the marsh in Lousiana definitely had its challenges i.e. soggy ground, fire ants, etc., our current yard is also a challenge. The back yard slopes downward and requires special athleticism not to turn the mower over on top of myself. Spoiler alert: I don’t have much athleticism. The front yard is a whole other story.
In the front, we have two large trees. In the fall, their leaves turn lovely hues of reds and oranges. My children are climbers and love to pull themselves onto their strong branches, to see how high they can go. Although we love these trees, the roots are a major issue because they are exposed. Have you ever tried to cut the grass around the roots of a tree when they protrude throughout the ground? Not an easy task. They have become quite an obstacle to productive yard work.
We all have roots i.e. truths, morals, and ideals that have shaped us to become the person we are. Childhood, whether peaceful or traumatic produces a set of roots. Experiences in school, church, or home cause your roots to twist and turn as you grow, developing your ideals and feelings. These past few weeks, with the increased racial unrest in our country, roots have been exposed, we are seeing one another for who we are. Our roots keep us centered on one mindset and set of ideals. If you were raised with hatred and selfishness, it doesn’t take long before the world sees your roots.
To be honest, I have some exposed roots that need to be addressed. High school trauma has created a root in my heart that causes deep anxiety. Groups within my school bullied others who didn’t look like them nor have the same degree of athleticism. I tried to avoid these groups, but I wasn’t always successful. While I have tried to not allow my anxiety to affect my behavior toward others and I try to be friendly to anyone I encounter, the nervousness and some bitterness remains. I know I cannot allow what one particular group of girls did to me determine how the rest of the world would treat me nor would it determine how I would treat the world.
I intend to spend the summer (and the rest of my life) working on the exposed roots of bitterness in my heart. I do not feel shame for my roots, but God has gently exposed them to make me change and become a better version of myself. I do not want my roots to affect those around me especially my own children.
I am a lifelong learner, constantly reading and seeking truth to the world around me. I do not want to be told by the world what to think nor what to believe. God does this for me through His Word. I do want to make sure I am reading and asking questions to better understand the cultures God has wonderfully created.
My closest friend is a wise and beautiful black woman living a few hours away. Our children have grown up together and treat one another like family. She has graciously listened as I have asked an abundance of questions and sought to understand her culture over the course of our twenty-year friendship. My experience in high school could have prevented our friendship. I chose not to focus on my hurt that had taken root. Our common faith has carried us through challenging life circumstances and I am so thankful for her voice in my life.
There is an abundance of resources for learning about the racial heritage of our country. One voice I have learned to trust, through podcasts and interviews, is Latasha Morrison and her organization “Be the Bridge”. Latasha travels the country training Bridge Builders, those willing to come together, no matter your race, to heal the roots of racism and prejudice. She does not do this in a way to make you feel shame but to inform you of the truth of the past in order to help you eradicate any negative roots of thought that may be exposed. I have ordered her book, “Be the Bridge” and look forward to reading it with a book club this summer. Here is the link to order: “Be the Bridge” by Latasha Morrison
I searched “what to do about exposed tree roots in your yard?” In order to make sure the tree is getting the right nutrients and enough moisture, you have to expose them even more. According to this tree service site, you have to dig out the dirt around the roots, then fill in the area with a mulch that will help the roots absorb more water. We have to expose our roots in order to get enough moisture for growth.
Think about the exposed roots in your heart that may need to be nourished differently so you can grow. Change can only happen if we each look within ourselves and allow God to bring to the surface what needs to be healed. Do not allow your exposed roots to be an obstacle any longer.