County Girl Card in Jeopardy

I’ve been doing all kinds of projects in the yard and garden now that my trail is pretty much complete and ‘free’ of distractions as I walk on it. I’m going through a kind of catharsis here closer to the house now. There are areas of my surroundings that I just could not or would not take on as ‘my responsibility’.

You see there aren’t clear demarkations between ‘yard’ and ‘wilderness’ here at Heartwood Cottage. Those of you who have visited, will know what I’m talking about.

Furthermore, I have been putting my eagle eye on things that annoy, things that need some tender loving care, things that don’t WORK the way they are configured right now. I made a list. The list is long.

Last week …. probably spurred on by the recent trail saga…. I decided to clear an area between what I had up until now determined was my yard and the driveway. There are Black Oaks and White Oaks that grow there. They are very mature trees that drop prodigious amounts of acorns, leaves, dead bark, and sticks every year. It was impossible to walk through that area without tripping and crunching on all that …. stuff. I’m being polite. The words I use in my head were nowhere near that well mannered.

The acorns and sticks and bark were all embedded in the soil so the raking was gruesome and backbreaking work. I’m not gonna lie. And once I started it was impossible to stop. I worked on it piecemeal over three and a half days. What I lack in brute strength, I make up for in tenacity. Before I finished I had raked thirty three of these piles:

I also moved ALL these rocks, raked the stuff from all around them and put them back.

I ended up dragging seven of these tarps, that were quite heavy, down to the burn pile on the other side of my garden.

The tarp part almost made me turn in my Country Girl card in utter humiliation. However, I persevered, and when it was all done, I could look at this…

And this:

And look is the proper word for what I did. I didn’t take a good picture of what this area looked like before. I’m not sorry for it either. It was disastrous. I never walked there because it was treacherous footing. And something I didn’t realized until I had finished this job was that whenever I had to drive or walk anywhere near this whole area, I averted my gaze. It was so depressing to me. It was so neglected that I wouldn’t even allow myself to fully engage with it at all! It’s like it was not really THERE. It didn’t actually EXIST.

Now I walk there on purpose. Like Abraham. Those who know will know.

I have to tell you, I’ve told this story to a few friends and family members and now I’m writing it here because I wanted to express my gratitude to The Holy One Blessed be He, that I am still able to do this kind of physical work at this time in my life. Even though it takes me days and days. 🙂

And Amen.