It’s that time of year when I have “downtime” for philosophical thoughts. That’s what three hours of hauling water and watering trees allows for. Lots of alone time for thinking and Siri for dictation. Or maybe it’s that I’m a trauma nurse, I have a friend in a war zone right now and even locally, bad shit happens to good people. I try to make sense of it all; really to no avail because it seems that so much of life boils down to choices and chances. The road more travelled, the road less travelled. By the book or off the beaten track. Learning from our mistakes or being tied to them?
Take even our trees for example. If we had gone with the standard poplars we probably have a few more visual trees around the yard . They have that fluff which Ron is allergic to and they tend to die off in about 25 years. So we’ve gone with trees that are a lot more slow growing like green ash and Manitoba maple. Trees that incidentally seemed need a lot of water and the climate really has changed. Where did those rainy years go?
But extrapolate this to the bigger view of life about choices and chances. The crazy thing is that some of those chances and some of those choices aren’t even ours. Government policies, insurance companies, freak weather or strange events can all wreck incredible havoc with lives. Indeed even with life it self. One quick decision can have such far reaching consequences.
While the picture shows a cute black and white calf life isn’t that clear cut. One side one choice, opposite side opposite choice. Life is full of so many shades of grey. So many chances not taken or taken. You can’t erase the past and one hopes we can all learn from the it. Letting go and moving on is often very difficult.
Meanwhile the sun has set and its time to move along with other tasks. As usual though, I will choice to focus on the gratitude for my bounties.
I remember once, when I was about 13 or 14, flying to Vancouver Island with my mom. We saw people she knew in Calgary and Vancouver. I was like “what the heck?”; we lived in a small farming community so how could my mom know so many people?
Fast forward to my kids going anywhere with me when they were teenagers. It kind of drove them a bit crazy that I would find people whom I knew to stop and visit with.
Flying thousand of miles away should probably have prevented that. Or so you Continue reading
The trees are heavily laden and show up against the tinge of blue in the sky. In the flower garden the “mulch” remains Continue reading
Now I usually start the year out with a blog post about the word for the year. I’ve even picked out the word/phrase but somehow I feel a bit uninspired. Not by the phrase but by Continue reading
I haven’t been doing so well with the walking or the writing lately. I need both of these things to keep in balance. It seems like lots of reasons along with the fact that Continue reading
I had an email this week from a close friend. She’s finally clearing out her inbox, now that it reached 3000+ emails, and found this in her sorting. She sent it along with a note remarking how much Continue reading
It’s hard to make sense of the world at times. The events of the weekend hammer that home. But really it’s the events of any weekend because the trauma comes in many shapes and forms and is rampant around the world.
I read a blog post this evening called Somebody’s Somebody. It was written by Continue reading
The sunlight dappled through the raspberry patch and while it was a beautiful colour it added a level of complexity to berry picking. The evening tinged light made the ripe berries hard to distinguish.
She thought maybe life’s like a raspberry patch and not a box of chocolates. Chocolates are so pedestrian; mass produced and if you read the key there aren’t even any surprises. It’s all so uniform and easy and she thought that’s not like life at all. Life isn’t easy. Those chocolates are tasty but they lack the smell, feel and taste of victory. Because each bowl of raspberries is a little victory on so many levels and that’s much more like real life is.
No there was much more to it than walking out and picking the big juicy berries on the top. She thought of all the background work that most people don’t ever consider as they eat that berry. How all that time and those little decisions ripple along and collide with the factors we can’t control. The best maintained berry patch can be levelled by a hail storm so intense that there is nothing left but beat up old canes. The new strapping plants growing so pristinely for next year are desecrated.
That’s what life is like she thought. Hail could so be a metaphor for a crisis like a car accident that claims a young life and cripples someone in their grief. Raspberry blight was like that bloody cancer. The one that robs young, old and in betweens of the life they wanted to live. Instead it replaces it with something they never dreamt could happen to them. Cane rot requires the whole patch be burnt and relocated which she reflected, was what those who had lost their relationships or their jobs were often forced to do.
Better to live through a drought, she thought, even though that had its downsides as well. Less berries with a lower quality and perhaps there was some lesson to be learnt there as well. That smaller bowl was worthy of the same respect as the big juicy bowl full of prime berries. That analogy seemed to elude her grasp and yet sat in front of her face but the metaphor wasn’t jumping up at her. Ps late at night these two thoughts intruded: racism and or white privilege.
Pulling her mind back to the picking of the berries she mulled over that the work of keeping raspberries. The mulching, weeding, cutting back of the floricane at the year end so that the primocane could flourish the following year and the disposal of the canes. Those maintenance items were like seeing brushing your teeth, eating properly, getting enough sleep and stretching. Those self care items that people neglect on themselves but will take care of for others or as it turns out for plants. Perhaps the bees were sent along to help like friends do in real life.
But if the care of them was like self care she rationalized then the use of the berries was like the sweet things in life. Preserving the berries for a cold winters day or eating them fresh with farm cream was hugs and laughter all around. And if life handed you little raspberries then make lemonade. Now that was an analogy she could get behind; that some times difficult situations force us to respond to find the best possible outcome. Yes life definitely was like that.
Perhaps I’ve been spending too much time alone in the raspberry patch!
Turns out blogging, beer, baking and BBQ don’t go hand in hand. Continue reading
I’m pretty good at ignoring the little voice in my head. As a caregiver I’m quite typical in that I usually put myself last. Obviously when you combine those two factors self-neglect happens. Continue reading