I spent the afternoon doing yard work, mostly cleaning moss off the sidewalk and removing ivy from the trees and the ground (at least beginning to clear it off the ground). We live in a forested area, so the need for yard work is limited – but the ivy certainly requires that we stay in top of it, at least if we don’t want it to take over the whole area including the trees and the house.
Any activity – or lack of activity – is a great opportunity for insights.
I enjoyed working physically. Just being with what is, in the clear space, not needing to engage in the few thoughts that surface now and then. It helps me come in contact with myself as animal of flesh and blood, intimately connected with the soil, the plants, the bugs, the animals, the air.
Cleaning off the sidewalk, I noticed that the metal tool I used made quite a lot of sound. One of the things that used to be an infallible trigger for me was neighbors making noise outdoors, so this was a good opportunity to find myself at the other side of the equation. This may sound funny, but having worked with this projection mentally – it is joyous to physically find myself at the other side of it. To physically have an opportunity to embody both sides.
Our housemate came home while I was working, and I had the opportunity to clear something up and apologize. This too felt very good. Being sincere about how I saw the situation, and not having anything to defend. I know I acted in a way that was not as skillful as it could have been, and there is nothing to defend there. Anything he could say or think about me has truth in it. It is all right here.
Pulling the ivy off the trees, I had an opportunity to see how any action can be viewed from innumerable perspectives, and they are all valid. From the view of the ivy, I did a monstrous genocidal thing. From the view of the insects living under and within the ivy, I demolished their home. From the view of the trees, I am quite literally their life-saver. From the view of the neighbors, I am not sure how it looks. They may appreciate it, although they may also think it unfortunate that the luscious greeneness of the ivy growing up the trunks now is gone. And all of these views are valid. All of them arise from the ground anything and everything arises from.
At the end of it all, I noticed how tired I am physically, and saw some worry coming up. I am somewhat out of shape physically, and there is also the stream of fatigue that I have experienced since my teens – especially noticeable right now. And I find myself completely being this fatigue and worry, as well as the ground it arises within. It is another aspect of the fluidity and richness of what is.
And now, there is the nice afterglow of having worked physically outdoors. The mix of tiredness and invigoration that comes with it.