Some days it feels like so much of my life, so many people and events, lie on the path behind me, how much more can be ahead?
days, it’s helpful to stumble upon trees like these growing together on my
friend’s property near Lake Huron.
A sprout of a completely different kind of tree is growing through the trunk of the sawed-off trunk of an old tree.
I searched from
all sides and from high and low angles, and I could not find the root system for
the younger twig. It is below ground, an integral part of the roots of the cedar.
The largest trunk on the original cedar was cut off—a loss that must have felt like the end. But no! Something unexpected was hiding there all along, intertwined with the roots, waiting to spring to life.
On this eve of July 4, I could write about how much I love America. What a beautiful, amazing country it is—and how I’m worried about it.
In the past, when I travelled internationally the first question people asked when they heard my accent was: Are you American? Now, it is: Are you Canadian? Best not to lead with “America,” I’m told, because people who aren’t American get too offended.
Internationally, things are not great, America. Just sayin’. But I’m pulling for ya!
Or, I could write about how my son graduated from university and how proud of him I am. And how convocation ceremonies are the most joyful, mind-numbing experiences we humans have ever come up with. At my son’s convocation we celebrated when he kneeled to be hooded, and when we reached the final name in the looooooooooooooong list. Zimmerman! Yay!
I could also write about how I’ve finished a first draft of a novel after writing for a really, really, really (really) long time. I had started to wonder if I would ever finish. I have. Good for me.
But that’s really all I have to say about all of those things. But because I’ve been finishing my first draft, travelling to my son’s grad, and celebrating Canada Day, I haven’t had any time to weed my garden.
Weeding . . . that’s a good topic. I recommend you read about it on Tuesdays with Laurie: Gardening.
An invitation to ponder the people, places, things, events, and opportunities in your life that are not positive, uplifting, constructive, or healing, or that don’t support the best version of you. I’ll do that while I’m in my garden pulling out actual weeds.
We replaced kitchen cupboards at our cottage on the weekend.
The old ones had been there for decades—probably since the 1950s when my father-in-law bought the place. They were functional, but not perfectly so. The drawers, without sliders, squeaked closed, wood against wood. One cupboard door was hung crooked and sprang open again if not closed with authority.
I was excited to replace the old cupboards with units that had proper shelving and drawers the slid home easily with a quiet thunk at the end.
And then we took the old ones apart.
Those gliders on the wooden drawers? Hockey sticks. (Canadian stereotype alert!)
The side panels were pieces of used decorative paneling (that I suspect he picked up for free from a discard pile somewhere). Every screw used to cobble the whole thing together was different. He’d obviously empty every jar of used screws in his work shed.
We bowed down to the skillful frugality of my father-in-law, the King of Making Do. What we found behind the smooth white front was a masterpiece of creative re-purposing that gave new meaning to the term “custom kitchen.”
He was teenager during the Great Depression and those years of poverty marked him. He lived Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Re-purpose, Recycle before it became an environmental mantra.
It was marvelous. And so beautiful.
Syd, if you’re out there somewhere, I hope you know that I am bowing down to your work and the beauty of making do.
I attended an afternoon event held at a venue usually reserved for nighttime activities. As I stood listening to speeches, I looked up at this tall ship on a high shelf, lit by a combination of daylight and interior lighting that would not normally be on when customers were in the establishment.
I was struck by both the beauty and the ew factor. In fact, the beauty is made possible because of the ew factor.
Without the dust on the delicate strands of rope on the foundering ship the effect of the light would be less striking.
Something that needed cleaning up had been hidden and ignored. Light made things clear, and somehow beautiful.
The idea helps me this week. The lesson “sailed to me” when needed, as they so often do. I hope it helps you too.