Reflecting on the grief journey, find a soul-soothing metaphor in the concept of 'fallow'. Picture this - you're stepping out of a dense forest into a vast, untouched field, the fallow land. This is your heart, battered by the loss of someone dear, now ready to be nurtured and grown anew with love. Let's walk this path together, steadily and slowly, with Jesus as our companion.
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Welcome to Solace Soul Plus Grief. I'm your host, candy Lucas. We, catholic Cemetery, know that the loss of a loved one has a profound effect on our lives and we would like to help you deepen your faith, pay attention to where God is moving in your life as you grieve, and call upon the love of God to accompany you. Each week we take a different text or scripture or poem, or maybe an idea from the Holy Spirit, and we use that idea or poem or song to help us reflect more deeply on our grief and God's place in our life and God's place next to us as we grieve. Please remember you're always welcome in our circle of healing, love and support. There's word that has fallen out of use but occurred to me the other day as I was conducting a memorial service. That word is fallow If a-l-l-o-w. I spell it because the pronunciation doesn't immediately come to mind. We don't use this word so much in current times. But I thought as I conducted the service and watched the grievers the family, the husband who have now tucked away this death of their loved one. I thought about what happens now in their grieving process. I know how long the road may be ahead of them and I thought of what they see now. Fallow as an adjective means pale yellow or brownish yellow. It was meant to describe a horse or a withered grass or leaves. It was meant to describe a color of the land which lay fallow, which is the noun. The word is from the 1300s, which meant plowed up fallow land to break up ground, perhaps from the derivation of to fold, hence to turn. It's been assimilated since old English to fallow, probably because of the color of plowed earth. Originally it was plowed land. Then it became land plowed but not planted as an adjective from the late 14th century. So what it means, as I thought about this road ahead in grief, is that it is unplowed earth. It's a road not taken for a lot of people. This grief road, and along it you wouldn't expect to see tiny sprigs of growing plants. You wouldn't expect to see, as you emerge from those, that first forest of grief, a million colors, brilliant skies, a brilliant forest ahead. Instead, what you see is this unplowed land that's resting along your path On either side. The land is ready and it has been fertile before and in a way that's how your heart is. Now it's ready. It's been pummeled by the death and loss of someone you love dearly, but it's ready to be explored and replowed and grow love again. So by the time you got to the 1800s, fella a little different meaning. The word now was thought to be from the root of fail, so called from the fading color of autumn leaves, or from failure withering. Hence also the sense of unoccupied applied to land. Yet its very first definition is pale red or pale yellow, as in a fallow deer, and its second definition is unsewed, not tailed, left to rest after a year or more of tillage, as a fallow ground or fallow field. It's also called fallow when plowed without being sowed. The plowing of fallows is benefit to the land. Summer fallow, properly conducted, has ever been found a sure method of destroying weeds. By a complete summer fallow land is rendered tender and mellow. The fallow gives it better till than can be given by a fallow crop. The prophet Jeremiah in chapter four, verse three, reminded us that. For thus sayeth the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem break up your fallow ground and sow, not among the thorns. How does this apply to our grief journey? We set out from the immediate shock of grief into this new path and it seems strange to us or maybe familiar, but even if we've traveled it before, it's not identical. For surely, as we traveled through the death of our loved one, our hearts were pummeled and stretched and broken and put back together a string and scotch, tape and ribbon so that our heart could go on. And it might be. For a time our hearts may lie fallow, they might just rest from all the trials and tribulations our hearts have been through. But the very essence of the word means that there is a time to come afterwards. There is a time of growth to come when the fallow season ends. I can imagine Jesus meeting us as we come out of the forest of grief and enter the fallow lands, and maybe he just holds our hand and walks with us and his eyes may be brimming in tears for the brokenness of our hearts and he may gently squeeze our hand and urge us forward, even if it's slowly, even if it's very slowly, even if you only take a small step and stop and look at the road ahead and see how long it is, and you look into his eyes and lean upon his shoulder for a moment and continue walking. That brings to a close another episode. I'm Candi Lucas, your host. Aftercare coordinator for Catholic Cemetery in San Jose. Chaplain and spiritual director. Please support us by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, google Podcasts, amazon Music or Spotify. You can contact us through the telephone number or email. On the show notes, we always welcome your comments and suggestions for future episodes. Spiritual direction is always available for those who are grieving through Catholic cemeteries. Be gentle with yourselves. Travel with God. Vaya quendios.