I just finished making a batch of chai tea and am now eagerly awaiting my first sip. I sit down on my deck and look out at a modest piece of land I’ve worked hard at to call my own. I am in awe with appreciation for all of the small wonders in this life.
However, a week ago I may not have been feeling quite so obliged.
The kids, like most children during the months leading up to the end of school, were crazed. They had been running around the house screaming absurd rulings at one another, breaking my stuff and then cackling about it later on their unregretful escapades. They reminded me of a couple of tiny unstoppable demons that nearly tipped me right over the edge into some unspeakable hell.
This went on for three consecutive days.
Perhaps this description is a little harsh but I regret nothing.
Jamie and I were already close to that edge as we had found ourselves at a crossroads when it came to career and financial planning, you know, all that boring stuff.
Grown-up decisions are tough, I can tell you that much. If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of making a change that could alter the course of you and your loved ones’ future, you surely know that that in itself fills up a plate pretty damn quick.
But to top off our premature mid-life crisis, we were feeling the pressure of dissimilarity with some fellow human beings.
To be truthful, it boiled down to full out repellence — admittedly on both of our parts — if you want to get technical.
At almost 30-years-old, one would imagine that issues like bullying and rumours would be a thing of the past. Well, think again. If any thing, these issues are worse now because unlike in Grade 8, I have to keep myself somewhat composed. Ugh, supposedly I’m too old to confront my problems with demented screaming and garish body language. At least that’s what Jamie tells me.
Instead, we gobbled up and swallowed some pretty awful things being said about us and moved forward (me, pretty begrudgingly while vision’s of throat punching these foes lingered in my head). In reality, it’s a good thing I have the hubs, he is pretty great at keeping me grounded in these days of adulthood.
So, there we were at our crossroads while the kids ran up walls and right across the threshold of my ability to cope.
With a plethora of unfortunate events coming at us from every which way, life was seemingly conjuring up a you-know-what storm, especially for us.
And gardening season had somehow managed to sneak up on me to boot! I had to get out into the plot and plant.
The kids were at school, Jamie at work and I figured it was as good of time as any so I grabbed my seeds and headed out barefoot. This is an odd (and rather unsanitary) ritual I’ve pandered to for as many years as I can remember. To me, gardening equates to bare feet and for some wonderful reason that makes me feel good.
After five minutes of my toes indenting the earth, I began to feel the pinpricks of rejuvenation. After an hour of digging and planting, fingernails thick with dirt, I had retired my troubles. Replaced them with hope — hope for new growth and fresh beginnings.
I realized whatever Jamie and I decided to do in this life, we will do it together. The kids will be OK because we will make sure of it.
As my feet sank into the land, I thought about how silly it is to worry about the opinions of others. We do not breathe to appease the judgment of those we call acquaintances. We breathe for our family. We work and play and speak our truths and live this life to enjoy it with the people we love.
I realized as the earthen smell of peat moss tickled my nostrils that I was not the only person on this planet having a bad week.
I thought about famine and disease as I planted the seeds that would grow into fresh, clean food for my family.
I remembered that life is good despite the downfalls. Rather, life is quite astonishing and it was never designed to be easy. Life is singular.
Now a week has past and brilliant green sprouts have begun to show themselves. This tells me that growth is here and life is at work all around us.
The tea is perfect, the kids are fine and I am feeling fulfilled.
It is a truly remarkable thing that happens when we can let go for a while and take some time to feed the soul. I highly recommend it when you happen to be having just one of those weeks.
Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.