My legs got a great work out the day I moved my cacti. Moving roots means muscle work. Thirty some ceramic pots of dirt and pokey plants perched on the porch at the top of the stairs came down in a dozen descents.
I clanked the small ones. I heaved the big ones. I left the massive one on the patch of ground by the sprawling palm. The one that started it all stayed behind. His babies came with me, though.
Speaking of babies, I found some sprouts. A forlorn group of thorns found its way to the fold. A friend said, “You want it? You can have it.” I want it. Dejected, moldy, overgrown with moss, and root bound I dissected its guts. The many months of neglect on a porch ledge showed in the blackened spikes. I scraped the rot and tossed the dead parts. Then, oh! Snuggled safe and sound under all the grime, growing strong and plump and green, tiny seedling cacti poked their faces up at me.
From one pot to four I tucked those new sprouts in a fresh bed of dirt. Their ancient overseers can now stretch their maze of cramped roots into the nutrients and know new life.
We’ve moved our roots. Much like my patch of cactus plants we lugged, and adjusted, and settled into our places. I am sure we’ve poked a few people in the process with our strained attitudes. Exposing the dirt and grime of our real human lives to friends and volunteers weighed me down, like the heavy pots, more than once or twice.
My cacti make me smile. No matter the irritated skin, aching muscles, and dirt under the finger nails. Now that our own roots have been moved I hope we still put a smile on the faces of our friends. Because they are the ones who refresh us with the water of their companionship, shine on us the Light of God’s goodness, and keep us firmly rooted in truth and love.