It can be uncomfortable, the turning over of the heart’s hard soil… painful, even. After all, transformation almost always comes at some cost.

Consider the field; its soil resting, but also fallow all winter. It must be mechanically tilled to allow the nutrients to penetrate its depths and prepare for seed.

And the forest, which at first glance is thick and green, but upon further observation, has grown too dense to sustain itself, pests in too great a number. Nature knows that only fire will renew it and make way for new growth.

Even birth comes at a cost. It is never easy or comfortable for a new soul to enter the world. A caterpillar must liquify it’s own tissues to transform into a butterfly.

And so sometimes, a kind of harrowing of the human heart must occur. The soil has stopped producing, becoming hard with the cycles of frost. It has become barren and incapable of yielding a harvest.

Something begins to turn the soil. Maybe it’s a circumstance or a person. Maybe a situation out of ones control. Maybe the soul just gets tired of bruising its heels on the same hard, over-trodden ground.

A mechanical breakthrough begins.

The first few punches of the pickaxe are shocking. Painful. The eyes fly open in surprise and the heart wonders if change is worth the pain. Maybe it’s easier to stay hardened, tough.

But as the harrowing continues to overturn the soil, warmth begins to reach the deeper layers. Nutrients that sat at the top begin to filter into the depths, nourishing and renewing. Rain can seep through, softening and giving life.

Soon, there is a field in the heart prepared for planting new seed. It is raw; but now it can nourish new life, new opportunities, new challenges. A heart that is fallow can come to great fruitfulness.