As I weeded the thistles from my long raspberry patch, many thoughts were going through my mind. Thoughts like "Ow!" and "It feels like my arm's being shredded by a thousand tiny knives!" Pulling prickly weeds between prickly canes is not my favorite outdoor chore (but dang, it feels good when it's done! Especially when I trash talk the weed pile).
About halfway through the patch, I came upon a swath of bare soil with no visible raspberry sprouts. I remembered in the fall, I attempted to spread a layer of compost evenly throughout the patch, but with all the canes, it was maddeningly difficult. Despite my best efforts, there were a few spots where the compost was left a few inches too thick. This was one of them.
Thinking back to past years, I knew those little sprouts would eventually make it through their extra topping, but it would take a little longer. It made me reflect on struggle - specifically how that "extra topping" can feel like a million pounds when it's on my shoulders. That pile of rich soil completely blocks new leaves from the sun - weighing them down, making them struggle to the surface, and even making them vulnerable to weeds who've decided to take up residence in that beautiful bare ground.
When those sprouts make it to the top? They'll be unstoppable. They'll be strong and doubly nourished by the soil that surrounds them. They'll have been more protected from the early spring elements and will hunger for the light of the sun above them.
I've seen it in years past, and I know this year will be no different. Those canes will produce the most beautiful berries well into the fall.
So, if you're feeling weighed down or like the light is being blocked from your life, remember the parable of the compost. You are being pushed, yes, but you are also being strengthened and nourished. You will come out more powerful - more alive! You will find that sunlight again and it's going to feel glorious.