Yesterday, Eddie and I devoted the majority of the afternoon to much-needed yardwork after Dame Rita's brief visit. Compared to some, we realize how lucky we were to be able to remove the branches, sticks and leaves from the yard and driveway to continue our happy lives.
There were A LOT of sticks, A LOT of leaves and quite a few branches piled on the corner of our yard before we were finished. We have a line of river birch (betula nigra) leading to the front door. I thought they were beautiful when we moved in, only because I had NO IDEA how many sticks those things would/could drop. After Rita, there were sticks EVERYWHERE.
After amassing a pile of which I was proud from the general yard, I started gathering from the bushes. The sticks are skinny and flexible, so I could gather quite a bit in my fists before making a trek to my growing pile. It is always the plan to gather as many sticks for a successful carry to make each trip to the pile count, so my hands were almost completely full of sticks branching off in different directions when I went to grab ONE more.
The last one that I needed to fill my fists was near the back of a giant tree-like bush next to the house. As I reached for it, the mass in my hands kept pushing it just out of my reach. I lunged further and was scratched on the cheek by the bush that was holding my stick captive, my prize moving more out of my grasp.
I eventually captured the stick, escaping the bush with a few minor scratches.
Before I began this blog just a few days ago, I wouldn't have given my thoughts during yardwork a forum, but yesterday I found big in the small. I realized at the moment I was reaching for something I needed, all of the things I was holding were preventing me from getting the thing I needed, they were even helping to push it away.
I looked in the mirror last night to survey the dirt and the day on my face before my shower and I saw the scratches.
I've still got a lot to let go before I can have the thing for which I am reaching - peace. I'm sure I'll get scratched many more times before I can learn my lesson. I have always found it easier to keep the big things in. I have questions and anger about loss and hardship and I hope they find their way here. I am always working, always thinking. I'll make it.