Have you ever watched “This Old House” and wondered, “How did they do that?” That’s the exact question I’m asking right now. Some days I feel like I’m suffocating in this house. The projects. The lack of help. The lack of money to do them all adequately. And the lack of stamina to manage everything.
As adventurous, as grand, as historic, as mysterious, as interesting, as beautiful, and as inspiring as White Plains may be, it is also proving to be one of the most intense and stressful of experiences.
For example, it’s been nine months since we started planning the basement kitchen renovation, a major overhaul that would also rework the house’s main plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems. Two months since everything was moved out from the space and readied for the rehab, we have still have not begun and there is no end in sight. We essentially have three months before cold weather sets in, a nearly impossible timeline considering that we haven’t even begun the work. If we don’t begin soon, we risk the long wait until Spring to continue because of the need for heat.
I came home today with a deepening sense of dread – a feeling that seems to deepen every day. And so I began where I usually do, in the garden. A space of cultivation. Of growth. Of natural creativity. The Connecticut Field pumpkins are coming along nicely and the sweet potatoes are vining in every direction.
From there, I moved to check on the bees. Another natural marvel where order, community, and structure prevail. Each bee moving in sequence, part of a perfectly choreographed dance. They are doing well – all three hives. Each building new comb, raising brood, and getting ready for the impending winter.
And finally, I ended the night bush-hogging the field. The slow, steady rumbling of the tractor is rhythmic as it moves across the grass. The occasional bump of a small tree wakes you up from the zen-like movement up each row. It reminds you that you’re in control of the tractor – in control of which path to take. You’re driving the tractor – it isn’t driving you.
Perhaps it’s a reminder that this whole experience is one that we ride through, like driving the tractor through the field. Just drive. Enjoy the view. Feel the rumble. And take the small trees as bumps in the path that are gone in the blink of an eye.