This morning I mulched the vegetable garden again. That means I lugged four 5-gallon orange paint buckets out the gate, across the concrete path, over the foot-thick live oak limb, under the fig tree, over the stone wall (duck to avoid the branch in the eye), through the rocky gullies where the rain runs down to the creek, past the deer scat, over the limestone shaped like fingermarks dragged through wet clay, around the cactus, and past the twelve-foot spiderweb (which I did not walk into) built by the green and gray spider big as a Cadbury Creme Egg. Finally, I arrived at our waist-high pile of ground-up cedar trees.
After filling the buckets, I carried them back and heaped the cedar bits around the squash and tomatoes and blackberries and mulberries.
On my last trip, muscles taut, gut sucked in, Huck Finn straw hat damp with sweat, a neighbor driving to her retail job number two stopped her car and ran toward me.
“I can lend you a wheelbarrow,” she called.
“Thanks, I appreciate that,” I said, “but they don’t have feet.”
She looked back over the obstacle path I had to traverse, and nodded in agreement.
Do we use the wrong tools to try to get where we want to be in life? Wheels when we should use boots? Short cuts that seem more efficient but take more time and effort, and don’t get us there anyway? I may do that.
In the last couple of days, I’ve come to understand what my WIP is about. Seems it’s less about fiction and more about certain decisions I’ve made. I don’t like what I discovered about my life.
You might say I tripped and skinned my knee on the concrete path, cracked my shin on the foot-thick live oak limb, got bitten on the neck by the orange squirrel that lives in the fig tree, fell over the stone wall and got the branch right in the eye, turned my ankle in the rocky gullies where the rain runs down to the creek, stepped in the deer scat, caught the toe of my snakeboot in the limestone shaped like fingermarks dragged through wet clay, fell into the cactus, got trapped in the twelve-foot spiderweb and finally buried my head in our waist-high pile of ground-up cedar trees.
By S.J. Driscoll