Last fall, rather than rake a little every weekend, we waited until our yard was full before tackling the zillions of wayward leaves that made our yard their final resting place. The huge piles were great for jumping in, but were more than we’re allowed to put out for our garbage collector, so we crammed as much as we could into our giant waste bins and raked the rest into the flower bed in front of our house.
The next weekend it rained and turned cold, or there was something good on television, who knows – bottom line: we never went back to gather those leaves and they stayed there all winter.
A few weeks ago, I took a nice, empty waste bin to the scene of the crime and began scooping out scads of thick, wet, clumpy leaves. Look what I found! (see beautiful green thing pictured, above).
The metaphor is not lost on me – when I clear away the crap, I make room for new growth.
My proverbial, personal waste bin is full most days, but I know my crap-clearing is far from over. In the meantime, I’ve enjoyed applying this metaphor to as many things as possible, to see what else I might learn.
Example: more days than not, I’m only wearing tinted sunscreen and lip balm, rather than applying my usual multi-layers of make-up – just enough to keep the ultraviolet rays at bay, but still let the real me shine through. Slowly, but surely, I’m getting used to seeing myself au naturale and have even run a few errands in just a ball cap and mascara (folks who know me well, will tell you how unusual this is).
There’s also something to be said for the levels of myself I’ve chosen to reveal in my writing – how that’s freed other parts of me, allowing some of my dark and hidden places to access light and air for the first time in a long while. What’s most fascinating to me is how, like the bulbs I planted several years ago, all this beauty is something I (or someone) planted with great care. But, I’m impatient and forget its there, instead spending my time and energy complaining about what’s piled on top of it, rather than making room for it to grow.
On the bright side, it’s lovely to discover how hearty plants (and people) are, despite the layers of crap they live under, and that new growth doesn’t wait for the crap to clear away – it’s waiting underneath it all, a welcome surprise for those willing to get their hands dirty.