Growing in the Dark-Guest Post by Greer Ohara

Greer and I met back in high school during long rehearsals for a show with CYT. 😉 It’s safe to say that we’ve both grown and changed a lot since those days when we were glueing on false green eyelashes for our roles as beauticians in the Wizard of Oz, but we have kept in touch for which I am so thankful! I asked Greer if she’d be willing to write a guest post for this space as we prepare to take some time away to welcome our new baby, and she graciously obliged. If you like what you see here, check out Greer’s blog here, where she writes about Embracing wholeness, Practicing Holiness, and Cultivating your best self. 

My neighbors have the most vibrant yard you could imagine. Flowers of every color border their house, pots of geraniums and pansies and petunias line the walkway and hang from the porch, crunchy green lettuce springs up from their planters, lush green grass swallows the bare toes that run through it. And covering it all are massive, sturdy trees. The kind of old trees whose roots run deep underground and whose branches spread wide across the sky. I can’t wait to get outside on dewy July mornings, and watching the late sun cast shadows through across the yard on late summer days is pure magic.

But we live 8,000 feet above sea level and so the majority of the year this dreamy yard is bare and brown. Seven or eight months spent without color, without budding colors, without the fruit of the land. Seven or eight months of the year where life is completely unseen.

And yet. Underneath the surface growth is happening.

Seeds buried. Plants taking root. Life being formed.

The seasons of our own life have this uncanny habit of mirroring the seasons happening out our front door.

I’ve been planting some seeds these past few months. Quietly, tenderly, unnoticed by most. The soil’s been stirred up, the dirt tilled. Little by little tiny, specs of potential life have been gently placed in the center of the earth. And then the darkness came. The prayers whispered, the dreams voiced in the middle of the night, the hopes buried.

Day after day I come to these seeds and I water them. I beg for some light to shine on them. I carefully and diligently tend to them with the depths of my heart.

And then I wait.

And wait.

For days and weeks and months I wait.

I imagine what the fruit might look like. How it might poke a small shoot through the ground. When other eyes will at last notice the careful sowing I’ve been doing.

But right now all that I can see is a pile of dirt.

I’d like to skip this darkness part. I’d like to jump over the waiting season and get right to the bearing fruit season. I’d like to stop wondering when it will come, if it will ever come. Just like I’d like all the bare and brown earth to sprout some green in the bleak January days.

But just as it’s impossible for midwinter ground to give way to summer life, so the little seeds buried in the depths of my soul cannot burst into life until the season is right.

The seed has to go down and be buried in the dark before it will grow. There is no other way.

So maybe its time to stop being so afraid of the dark and so ashamed of the dirt. Maybe instead we could give ourselves permission to be fully present in the season we’re in, diligently waiting for what is to come but is not yet. There is life underground, but just because it’s not blooming doesn’t mean it’s not growing.

We keep showing up, though. Day after day, persistently letting water fall on the unseen, devotedly pushing the pile of dirt into the light. Doing the work, pursuing the dream, offering up the prayers in the dark.

There will be seasons of life where you have nothing to show for all the countless hours and days of endless labor. And that is ok, that is how it should be, that is how life works.

The day will come, I’m sure, that we see a little green shoot wiggle it’s way out from underneath. Suddenly all the vibrant colors will burst forth, juicy fruit will hang down heavy from the budding trees, we’ll run barefoot through all that green grass.

But for now, it’s growing in the dark.

On that note, and with my due date coming up this Monday, I’m going to be signing off of the blog for a little while. It’s time for some of my own words to grow in the dark. I’m not sure how long, but I know myself well enough now to know that I sometimes need to give space for the things I don’t always anticipate. Newborn days have a way of derailing everything else, so I don’t want to give any promises about when I’ll return, but I expect you will hear from me some on Instagram first if you haven’t already connected with me there. You can find me at @gracieishomesteady. Blessings on you this fall and all that the change of seasons bring! 

-Gracie Kelley

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