on wheelbarrows and finding silence

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the wheelbarrow is getting a lot of use around here.  there is a pile of mulch at the top of our driveway…a pile which seems to be frozen in its immensity despite the seemingly endless shoveling of mulch into said wheelbarrow.  after this weekend {which involved a lot of shoveling and wheelbarrowing} i finally feel like we’ve made a dent in the pile.

besides the mulch, the wheelbarrow has been filled multiple times with weeds.  and pruned branches.  and kids.  that’s the best part, the kids.  a big brother pushing his little sister in the wheelbarrow.  that, especially.  but also my daughter wanting to help push the wheelbarrow piled high with mulch {the kind of help that requires quotation marks}.  she held the handles and walked in front of me while i held the ends of the handles and tried to avoid stepping on the heels of her sneakers.  yes, that too.

and the weather.  oh, the weather!  cool and breezy.  and sunny.  the kind of weather that offers no excuses for not getting major yard work done.  it could not have been more perfect mulching weather.  could not have been more perfect wheelbarrowing weather.  if there is such a thing.  if there isn’t, there should be.  what’s the sense in only piling mulch and weeds into a wheelbarrow?  kids should have their turn too.

so the afternoons lately have been filled with hard, repetitive yard work…work that leaves my back aching and my body feeling tired.  but i wake the next morning – aches gone – and i go out for a little more.  i don’t love this work, but i have been finding a certain amount of pleasure in the monotony of it…thinking of nothing much other than filling the wheelbarrow, emptying the wheelbarrow, repeating.  in a strange way, it is emotionally restorative.

the metaphor of mulching {one step / one wheelbarrow at a time} is not lost on me, though i’ve not reflected much on that while i work.  i’ve just been working and intermittently chatting with the kids, kicking the soccer ball, timing races around the house {the kid’s races not mine, silly.}  in more typical moments of more typical days, i go over things in my mind {over and over and over}.  but out with that wheelbarrow and that damned mulch, all of that has been leaving me.  and, while i’m not telling you i enjoy the yard work of late, i am telling you i appreciate the unexpected reprieve it has offered…the silencing of my mental chatter.

it’s going to be pretty awesome when the mulch pile no longer stares at us upon opening the garage door.  yep, pretty awesome.  and i’m going to remember the wheelbarrow as a tool for silencing the mind.  yep, add that to the list.  the more i pay attention, the longer my list grows.  so many ways to drop down and sink into our days.  some easier than others, but still, so many.

how do you sink into your days?

sending a little love your way, m





6 thoughts on “on wheelbarrows and finding silence

  1. I worry about the day, when it comes, that I can’t get out into my garden. It is where I do my best thinking. It is where I solve the world’s problems, or at least talk them through. I love that feeling of being dead tired from the day and waking up the next morning ready to do it all over. And we are on our third wheel barrel.

    1. the garden is such a good place for solving world problems.
      and, yes, that dead tired feeling, the ensuing sleep, and the next morning when we do it all over again. so satisfying.
      {good luck with those wheelbarrows!}

  2. well, you know me. I’m all about the garden work. It does get monotonous sometimes, I agree. But it’s very satisfying to step back and see a difference!

  3. my mulching days are over but I do love to make yard work chore lists for my husband :) Our pile of mulch is high and untouched as of yet. I sink into my days by making THE list and tackling it by lunchtime if possible. Then my afternoons are my very own to do as I wish. With the kids home my alone time is sparse and much more valuable.

    1. i love making lists…and crossing things off is*so* satisfying, isn’t it?! free afternoons sound lovely.
      and enjoy those kids while they’re home!


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