Coffee with Carrie: Clearing the land and the heart

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Coffee with Carrie is written by Carrie Gloeckner, publisher and journalist at the Meigs Independent Press. This new column is meant to be a way to start your week off with some thoughts about the community, community interest bits and just positive thoughts to start the work week off. Hopefully you can find it interesting, entertaining and maybe even insightful.)

As the gloom of winter gives way to the growing beauty of Spring, it is that time of year when we want to be outside more and begin working on various “projects” around our home. It is time for “Spring Cleaning” and trading out sweaters for warmer weather options. Spring also brings out critters from the furry to the feathery to the slithering.

Recently, my family has been working on clearing a piece of property that has been in the family for a long time. The section of property we have been working on has been rather neglected for many years. It was a section not used and quickly grew up with weeds. From the weeds to grape vines and Multifloral Rose, the land was a mess that was difficult to navigate through. Dead branches and fallen trees made the ground even more treacherous to traverse. The clearing would have been difficult at best by hand, but instead we opted for professionals with the right tools. It was not an immediate process, but each day the work showed progress and the possibilities, potential and beauty of the land became more visible. We worked on what we could while the pros did work with equipment like a mini excavator. Watching the work of the mini excavator was incredibly interesting. Brush, vines, limbs, none of them were a match for the machine and the man operating it. Like a dance it moved through clearing the land and making room for sunlight and new use. There was only one thing I can say for the the way it was done, clearly a master was at work.

It made me think about what I have in me, especially as Holy Week for Christians is upon us. What have I allowed into my own heart and life which is not healthy and good for me? What have I permitted to permeate my habits that is not in line with being the best version of myself that I can be? As a Christian, am I willing to let the Master do the work in me? Am I willing to clear my heart?

As the land was emerging from the scrubby entanglement, one of the things that stood out was a little Dogwood. The Dogwood tree is one of my favorites, especially as it rises from winter sleep with those very distinctive flowers. This particular tough little tree had vines on it that were trying to hold it back, but it continued to grow. Maybe it wasn’t growing as well as it could be without those vines holding it back and other invasive plants around it, this little tree kept growing. Maybe it is a little more crooked in places than it normally would be and shows places where vines held it back, it still kept growing. Today, it stands free of those vines. The area around it has been cleared of Multifloral rose, vines and the like. I am looking forward to seeing it for many years to come.

It made me think about the things in my life that have held me back. It made me think of the moments, events, and people that have impacted me, trying to hold me back or keep me from being the best me I can be. It made me consider how I have allowed others behavior to impact me. It made me think of the times I pushed through those moments, endured those events and people. I considered so briefly where I could be without that in my life, because the past is just that, the past. Just as that tree has been set free, so have I. So can we all if we choose it.

There comes a point when you have to clear a forest for it to be healthy. You have to clear out the invasive species that can cause harm and make the forest unhealthy. You have to do the same as people. We have to clear the habits, people and even places from our lives that make us unhealthy in mind, body and spirit so that we may grow. Just as that property took time to clear, it still had to start somewhere. There had to be a beginning point. There had to be the first weeds pulled and the first dead tree taken down. There has to be a starting point with me. There has to be a starting point with you. The world becomes a better place one person at a time. We just need to begin.

Just few thoughts over coffee, come back and we’ll have another cup next week.