Overwhelmed by the gruelling task ahead, Steven’s eyes moved from the printed address on the damp paper in his hand to the matching address before him. He had been a gardener for a number of years but had never faced anything like this. The weeds were thriving, unacknowledged for too long. He wished he could just click his fingers and make it perfect, how it used to be. He was not a religious man, but he dropped to his knees and prayed before he began, desperately asking for enough strength and determination to undertake the work he’d agreed to.
“The best course of action would be to use a combination of tools and chemicals,” he’d been advised by a man knowledgeable in this type of work. The tools were familiar but the chemicals concerned him. Still, he took the advice, unearthing and disposing of each weed in turn. He tried to accept the occasional broken taproot, anxiously using the chemicals, hopeful they would kill what remained.
Passers by acknowledged the amazing job he was doing. Steven was not so sure, but thanked them anyway. He welcomed the opportunities for distraction from the repeating conversations in his mind.
He filled numerous bags for disposal with optimism, but was realistic in the potential for weed re-growth. At least he could make it look nice for a short time, so the flowers could be enjoyed. He felt compassion for the next person to face the job because he would never do this again.
As he took a needed break he read a remembrance dedication to a soldier who served in World War I, a man who selflessly gave his life for others. Despite his severely aching body Steven was inspired by this man’s gallantry, to push on in his toil.
In the end he was blessed with a valuable extension so, when he finally reached the deadline, he was able to rest at peace with what he had accomplished.
As Steven rested, the cemetery looked like it was destined to and he had, himself, become an inspiration.