I had to accomplish something.
In a week of what feels like a lot of defeat, there always seems to lurk this drive that comes from somewhere deeper than the sleepless nights and that fights its way past the distractions of my restless heart. So, I painted the pantry doors, painted the front door, painted underneath the counter top where paint had started to fleck away from too many years of use and abuse. I planted gardens inside the house using grow lights, and other experimental tools. I built shelves so that I could find a new home for my cast iron pots, I decorated for Christmas, I put together a display for a new art project I'm working on and I even tried my hand at my first-ever water color picture (so, admittedly, it looks like children's play, but it was the DOING of it that mattered :-). And, probably most impressively and importantly, I organized the freezer.
We also wandered a bit, hunting for artifacts and relics of ages and people gone by. Last week, several of my most beloved finds from the past several years of wandering were stolen by some reckless and careless human from the little place in the forest where I had kept them safe underneath a little pine tree, near to where I had found them. My sadness over that loss was compounded by the ruthless butcher of that little pine tree which has held them safe all this time. Someone chopped it illegally, and carelessly, leaving a large portion of the tree behind. It was kind of incredible to me how deeply this event has hurt my heart. I like to believe I hold things with an open palm, always with the recognition that anything can be taken from me and that everything I "behold" at any point is on loan - a gift. Yet, I felt robbed, and it honestly felt a bit like a violation of sorts. I am going to go remove what remains of that beloved little tree; it feels like the right thing to do, out of respect for not only that tree, but out of respect for the beautiful forest that has given me so much life.
So much I am discovering in this wretched, beautiful life cannot be found through my own willpower or self-discipline. The things I am learning about the Creator, the peace that is gradually growing within me, the light that spreads itself upon the darkest path before me... it is because of this path where I am being led. I am constantly being led to the places where my strengths are irrelevant and my weaknesses are abhorrently evident. Through the barrenness of these desert marches I am coming to see more clearly what has been painted for me to see, I am learning to trust what I do not understand, and I am given the responsibility to see myself in the image that is reflected back to me through the One that has created it all. The pain of this path I will embrace and in some small way I am finding gratitude for it.