Life is circular, and I keep coming back to the same points.
It’s like watching double dutch. The ropes fly round and round, and other folk seem to have no trouble jumping in. I stand on the sidelines trying to figure out how and when to move, but it never does start to make sense. I could get tangled up watching the world turn.
As time goes on, life keeps spinning on its axis with such regularity that I start to wonder if there’s any point trying to jump in. I’m not needed. There will always be others to fill places. In most cases, there’s a lineup.
Other times, I realize that somehow, I did jump in without even noticing. The rhythm of the spin must have pulled me out of my inertia, and life is whirling along. The question then becomes, how to jump out again? I’m stuck with timing I can’t control, and a pace I have to keep. How much energy do I really have?
But it doesn’t matter. Because I’m stubborn, and because I’m alive.
I spent last year only half-alive, to the point that my husband got very, very worried about my health. And so did I. It was a real valley, and I felt like I was never going to get out of it. The mystery (or mysteries) was never solved, but things did slowly clear up over the winter. Spring was a renaissance for me.
Yesterday, I was out in the potato patch, tilling and hoeing. I taught my daughter to run the walk-behind tiller, which is a bear to wrestle but a beauty of a machine. We hilled 123 potato plants. It got late. The mosquitoes started biting.
And I was tired. Going in circles around the tasks I have to do. Going in circles around the garden. I nearly left the last dozen for the next day. The problem is, I don’t even know when that will be. Life is spinning so fast right now.
So I couldn’t quit. Things need to get done. I don’t always get to set the pace.
It’s my garden, one hundred percent mine. I broke the ground last summer with the tiller I saved up to buy, and apparently also cracked a rib in the process. So I will see it produce, because the cost was high.
That’s the thing about jumping in. There’s always a cost. And the reward is simply not getting tangled up.
But maybe that’s enough.
By the time we got done that garden, my shoes were full of dirt. My hands were sore from wrangling the tiller. I broke a fine sweat hilling as quick as I could to get out of the mosquitoes.
But as I went round each plant, I saw the sun angle in through their young leaves and light them up. As I walked back across the yard, I pulled my socks and shoes off and felt the soft grass on my feet. And the children and I examined our flowerbed on the way in, counted the flowers we love most, and picked spent blooms off petunias.
Round it goes. Sprout to seed, moon to sun, task to task. After awhile, you don’t think. You just jump in and let the rhythm take you. Because standing back analyzing where and when and how to take the leap means never getting started living.