I have a tendency, maybe you do, too, to live my life as if I’m travelling a long road.
I can look back, and I sometimes do, to see where I’ve been. Sometimes, when I’m feeling thoughtful or melancholy or nostalgic, I can contemplate all the twists and turns that brought me to where I am right now, and many of the encounters I had along the way. Most of the time, the view is short. What happened yesterday, or the day before.
I can look ahead, though the future is uncertain. That’s where hopes and dreams can be found. That’s where plans and expectations abide. It’s where all the things that I’m afraid might happen, or that I hope will happen, or that I should make happen live.
I spend far too much time in that vague space. I rarely do anything, no matter how momentous, without immediately thinking, “Now, next I should…” Whether I’m doing housework, creating in the studio, or working outside, it seems I am never done.
Yesterday, I spent three hours pushing my little mower through the tall grass in my side and back yards. For the first time this summer, all of my grass was mowed. And it looks great! And yet, I didn’t allow myself more than a single minute to feel satisfied. Right away, my mind went to the things that still needed to be done.
So, I then trimmed around the fire pit, worked on weeding the flower beds, moved a bunch of stones, hauled away some brush, and watered the garden. As I drifted off to sleep, I thought, “Damn, I didn’t get those fruit trees planted!” Today, I planted the fruit trees.
There is still plenty to do. Grasses are taking over the flower beds. I could spend a whole day working with the string trimmer around shrubs and beds and edges. The rake could take up another day, and the leaf blower another. The climbing rose is crawling over the walkway. Weeds are poking up through the straw mulch in the garden…Enough!
There has got to be a time when I can just be finished. When I can look around this road I am on, and appreciate the place I am at. When where I have been or where I am going is less important than what is right here, right now. In fact, no matter what has brought me here, and despite what might lie ahead, this is all I really have. And it’s enough.