tiny accomplishments in big lives
{and vice versa}

I spent two days this past week cutting back the outrageously overgrown yews in front of my house, a project that has needed to be done for years, a project with a small window of opportunity, one that I have missed more than once. It’s a messy job, a difficult job, a job for someone stronger and more flexible than I, but I was determined to get it done, now, in this year that is beginning to feel like a watershed one.

I am scratched and bruised and my back hurts, and my completed task revealed all the places on my house that now need repainting, but I can see the sky from my bed again. There is more light inside, and more light is always a good thing.

Inside, I have a new mess, boxes to tackle after my 89-year-old friend moved out of her home into a long-term care facility, gifts she handed down, pieces to cherish and find special homes for. I haven’t figured out yet what to do with everything, nor what to do with the cracks in my heart, but somehow chopping those bushes down was related. I needed to cut and saw and grunt and curse and accomplish something. Maybe I needed to be in control of one small thing for a few hours. Maybe I needed to let off some steam. Maybe I needed to let some things go.

I’ve come to understand that it all gets more complicated as life goes on, that peace will always be slipping through my fingers, that there will never be time for everything, that standing in my yard with the wind in my hair is the best that some weeks will offer.

I’ve come to understand that it’s not accomplishments that matter either, it’s the love behind them that counts.

I’ve come to understand that sometimes survival is a matter of cutting out the parts that block the sun, paring things down to the bone, making space for new growth.

The imperfections I’ve revealed aren’t what’s important. The blemishes matter less than the light.

Looking out, I can only see sky, and the rain washing everything clean.

Every day, I learn.

The wounds heal, the wind blows, we all grow.

Today, that’s what I know.





Well. This says it, does it not? We sweat and curse and work and maybe empty one small box or cut down those light-blocking limbs, because it is what we CAN do. Because there are so many things we can’t. There will always be more messes awaiting us.

So let in the light. It will find its way to those cracks in your heart, and settle in. The cracks will always be there, but they will warm up, and that will make a difference.


It sure sounds like you know and understand so much, all of the important stuff. So happy that you have more light and can see the sky from bed, a wonderful thing, indeed.

Read with a sigh and a smile of recognition of how different our lives may be but how connected we humans our in our journeys. I especially love this part, “standing in my yard with the wind in my hair is the best that some weeks will offer.” It brings a picture of so many women, all over the world, standing separately and yet together.

Yes. Thank you for putting it into just the right words that I can’t find.


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