Do-Over at the Smooching Pond
Contributor
Written by
Sarah Martin Byrd
October 2014
Contributor
Written by
Sarah Martin Byrd
October 2014

Do you ever look back at your life and think, “If I could only do that over?” There are lots of things in life that you can do over. A bad haircut will grow out and you can start all over again with a new style. A golf shot can be done over, and over again, likewise with a tennis volley, or basketball shot. You get to try again and again.

 

Unfortunately, there are some things that can’t be fixed with a do-over. What about spiteful words spoken about someone? You can’t take words back. Once those syllables have passed your lips they are forever. You can try to do-over a relationship by asking for forgiveness; sometimes you are pardoned for your foolishness, sometimes not. Do-over’s are not guaranteed.

 

I have many regrets that haunt me, but one especially darkens my thoughts. Back in 1990 my husband, Jerry and I were able to buy a tract of land that had once been owned by my great-great-grand-pappy, Ardel Carter. This piece of land had a bountiful spring that had supplied water to the homeplace up on the hill for generations. I cherished this old springhead, maybe too much and that’s why I lost it.

 

I thought a couple of weeping willow trees would be beautiful down by the old spring. So I went to the local hardware store and purchased two strapping young willows and planted them by the banks of the creek. One grew and the other one died. But I was not to be bested. I went to my daddy’s house and broke off a sturdy branch of his weeping willow and transported it back to the creek bank of my ancestors and stuck it down in the edge of the water. It took root and before long both willows were head high, then before I knew it they were towering toward the sun, reaching for the stars.

 

The willows were majestic looking and added a bit of nostalgia to this special place by the creek. Everyone loved the spot and many pictures were taken by the ancient springhouse. Wedding portraits, snow scenes, and shots for my website. Memories were made that will last a lifetime, and longer. But as with most things nothing stays the same. One day I opened the springhouse door and could not believe my eyes. There were weeping willow roots growing all through the spring water. I proceeded to get my shovel and tried to chop the mangled spirals of thirsty tentacles to death.

 

Thinking I had massacred the beastly fibers, I left reassured that all was well down by the spring. That was not the case, as weeks turned into years the dreaded roots only grew and became thirstier. Stretching through the spring, digging their fingers into the earth, disturbing the silt and clogging up the old spring more and more with each passing season.  No matter how hard I tried, I could not keep the roots out of the spring. And, something else was happening; the area around the springhouse became damp and marsh like. It seemed there was water everywhere, and as if matters were not bad enough the old springhouse that my grandpa Ardel had built roughly 150 years before was slowly but surely dissolving into the earth. The back beam was completely rotted out and the front of the structure was bowing in the middle.

 

My wonderful husband tried his best to save the historic springhouse by jacking it up and replacing the rotten beams, but the old building was tried of standing. It groaned with the weight of time, and so was I. I had ruined the family spring, and there was no choice but to tear down the beloved springhouse.

 

I wish I could take back planting those willow trees. Dreaded willows, dreaded roots. Oh how I wish I had never transplanted those stranglers in the ground. I knew better, but the beauty of the weeping branches deceived me into thinking all would be well.

 

For several weeks after the springhouse came down Jerry and I dug and probed into the sappy dirt trying to find the original springhead, but to no avail. Those unruly willow roots had redirected the springhead into a dozen leaking spouts scattered all over the place. There was no way to save the spring. The loss of it burdened me. Could there be a ray of hope for the old spring?

 

After weeks of trying to save the spring I realized my husbands suggestion of digging a small pond at the spring site was the only solution. So this past weekend the spring was transformed into a lovely little pond. Or, it will be once the grass is sown and comes up. When the pond was hollowed out the guy that dug it for us turned off his machine and meandered over to us and said, “ I can see it now, you and Jerry sitting here on this bench holding hands and gazing out over the water.” I said, yes and there might just be a little smooching going on too.”

 

So therefore the old spring has been dubbed the “ smooching pond.” God has a way of fixing everything, if we only trust, believe, and see the good in all things. All that we have here on earth will vanish, or become smothered and clogged by a bunch of roots. We can drown in despair, or we can raise our voices up to the heavens and thank God that He is the God of second chances and do-over’s.

 

But, do not be deluded, there are two do-over’s that I know for sure will not happen, one is life. We only get an allotted amount of days here on this beautiful earth. We only have one chance to get living right. And, when it’s your time to pass on, and you’re standing by the pearly gates waiting for your name to be called, you will not get a do-over if your name is not written in the Book of Life. You will not be given another chance to come back to earth and do-over your decision to follow Christ.

 

I beg you, don’t put off making the most important decision of your life. Secure your eternity by making sure Jesus knows your name. God Bless you all.

 

Luke13:27

But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are: depart from me…

 

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