As many of you know, we broke ground for the new addition to our historic home. It involved renting a track hoe to dig the deep vault for the cellar stair well and then a more shallow trench for the footers on the perimeter of the planned addition. The track hoe got most of the dirt out. The track hoe was the easy part. Well, as long as the shovel didn’t hit the historic old brick house!
Then we had to crawl into the trenches and the cellar vault to ‘square the corners’ and ‘straighten the sides’. My back complains when I pick up a shovel, so I sat in the dirt with my little spade and threw spade fulls of loose dirt up and over the trench edge. There was a mixture of soils, and rocks, to get out of the trench. The rocks were occasionally large. We unearthed many beautiful foundation stones. Some of the dirt just fell into my little spade and was easily thrown out of the trench. Then there was the clay. Stubborn, hard to move, clay. I had to practicallyscrape it; layer by layer to get it to budge. It was a slow, strenuous process.
As I dug through the variety of soils, I kept thinking about life. Life has many issues: health, wealth, relationships, jobs, duties, responsibilities… the list goes on. I thought of life issues like the different soils in this trench.
Rocks-obsticles that drop into your life. You can leave them and make a lovely rock garden around them. You can perhaps stack them and create a water feature. You can handle them and remove them from your path.
Dirt-day to-day issues that arise. Irritations that must be dealt with. Disappointment. Disillusionment. Heart ache.
Clay-day to-day issues that arise. Irritations that must be dealt with. Disappointment. Disillusionment. Heart ache. But with the clay, the issues were not processes. They got stuck in the mire. They compacted over time. They stubbornly would not forgive nor forget. They hardened over time and then were even more difficult to deal with.
We all have rocks and dirt that come into our lives. Packing them down and hoarding them in our hearts places us in danger of living in the clay.
“We need the compassion and the courage to change the conditions that support our suffering. Those conditions that support our suffering. Those conditions are things like ignorance, bitterness, negligence, clinging, and holding on.” Sharon Salzberg