Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wilderness Woman??

We've been in Texas about 2 weeks now. It's been slow going. Up until now I've been mostly in the house with the women folk, occasionally venturing outside to help my dad with this or that, make a burn pile of leaves and old wood, I even braved raking some leaves once. Don't laugh, I've lived in the suburbs for 25 years or so. This week I don't know what's got into me, but I've taken on more outdoorsy projects. Things that I would normally think more than twice about doing. See, we live in the woods now. And I know Texas is full of trees, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about "the woods". Trees on all sides of the house and a lake literally in the backyard. My first few days here, the bottoms of both my legs were full of bug bites. Unidentified bug bites. I never saw it happen nor did I feel the impact. These stealthy suckers even got inside my shoes and bit me on the top of my feet. I have never liked bugs. I avoid them at all costs unless I've got something good in my hand to swack at them with. They're gross. They're freaky. I'm a girly girl. At least I was...

This week something came over me. I saw my dad outside talking about clearing some smallish trees out of the way and cutting down some branches. I walked right outside, grabbed the saw out of his hand and walked myself right into the bushels of trees to start hacking. I didn't seem to care that I was probably going to be covered in creepy little critters in a matter of seconds. My dad did most of the work on the first back of trees, but when he climbed up to cut down some low hanging branches I was right under him yanking on them to pull them to the ground as he sawed. When the hit the ground they were my territory. I chopped them down to small bits and hauled them over to the burn pile and lit it up like the fourth of July. Then today, I helped my dad dig a 40-50 foot trench to bury a wire in. The wire than runs from the Directv dish to our house. There were tree roots everywhere that we had to navigate. Bugs. Worms. Buried bricks! Some parts of what we were digging up was clay. And then, my favorite part. My dad was off distracted, and I was up against a whole lot of root that needed to get gone. So, left unsupervised,  I picked up the ax and got to swinging. I think it's the first time I've ever seriously swung and ax in my life. (And no one was there to witness it!!) My first swings were sloppy, but then my body just sort of figured out what to do and BLAM! With one clean cut I went right through my target. I saved that hunk of root to keep. A token of the beginning of my transformation out here. I felt like the Tin Man. Or like Gimli the dwarf. I felt like a warrior princess! 

Tonight I feel good. I feel sore, my fingers ache and my hands are tender. My calves are tight. I choke sometimes when I take a deep breath. Not sure if it's from smoke inhalation from the burn piles or from actually using my lungs doing real outside work for the first time. My face, well my whole body, still feels warm and kissed by the sun. I got my first Texas tan today. But it all feels good. I felt useful today. I don't know how long it's been since I've felt that. Even though I wasn't planting anything, in my head as I was digging that trench I kept hearing in the most peaceful and satisfying way, "You reap what you sow." And I guess what I was sowing was hard work and spending time away from some other frivolous activity that I might have rather been doing idly. And what I reaped was a great satisfaction in knowing that I helped someone who needed help, a tangible sense of accomplishment, even some self worth. And even though I was unwittingly standing in a red ant hill for a time and got chewed up some more, I feel frickin fabulous! 


1 comment:

  1. I love it...thanks for sharing! It is acts like this that will remind you that you truly are amazing!