Breaking Ground

A Fierce Practice 3 9 17

Almost all the idioms I can think of right now that involve the word "break" are positive. Which is, quite frankly, quite the opposite of the general connotation of the word as I carry it around with me. Afraid to break fragile things. Tentative about breaking the rules. Offending. 

Break bread
Break a leg
Break the ice
Break away
Break of day
Break the mold
Lucky break
Break the record
Break looses
Break in
Break ground

But, maybe it precisely takes a forceful, powerful and intentional act of destruction - something big, powerful, imperative - to help us jump the gap between where we are and where we want desire need must be.

Today we broke ground on the farm. And by "we" I mean Rick and his crew who pushed into big piles the black, rich, deep topsoil from where the driveway and garage will arrive. And dug a culvert and installed a drainpipe. And flattened and leveled. And packed down limestone gravel and fines into the places the topsoil used to be so that basically there is a giant footprint that will soon be filled in with more gravel and more gravel and more gravel until it becomes a driveway and a pad for a garage. (And my garage I mean: garage, shed, machine shop, barn, chicken brooder). 

I got home to the farm just after the last bits of dusk, and shined the car headlights like a giant flashlight over all the work.

It is all suddenly very, very real. 

We broke the ground. You can't start without breaking something. 

There was enough light in the air to notice that yes - I have the skeleton of a driveway and garage. And also that, yes - making new things, wonderful things, often involves making a giant messing and wrecking a lot of perfectly good things in the process. There are a few hundred square feet of perfectly good pasture that must have been the sand and fines drop off spot that is now just a thick layer of sand and fines. There are two huge piles of topsoil. Equipment tracks over everything. 

But here's the thing - this level of disaster - this amount of things-where-they-are-not-supposed-to-be and 'ruined' pasture and compacted earth and tire tracks and mud and muck and disorder...they are only helping me to think biggerWell, this seems like as good a time as any to plant that into prairie, even the ground is already torn up! What if we...? Let's just put a giant plastic sheet over that whole area now to kill the grass and plant perennials later.

I'm not good at big action. I have a lot of big ideas, but when it comes to digging in and making a big mess - I flail. I dig tiny holes and move tiny things and end up thinking small. All this destruction and out-of-sorts - it's only going to teach me the messier the better

Breaking isn't always a bad thing. It's often just the first thing.

[Read the full note HERE & See photos HERE]