Like…hmmm… maybe the condo gardeners have a conspiracy going. To keep me from getting much needed work done. Come any and every day, at any or all daylight hours – sneak in their red trucks outside schedule — so I can’t plan around them. Sometimes they stick to their once a week date. Most times…not. A touch of…gaslight.
Or…mmm… maybe I’ve seen one too many old movies. Ha.
I feel like a screaming meemie trapped inside a raucous, howling lawnmower…or clogged within a jet-rivaling leaf blower…or whatever whatchamacallit jack-hammering machinery roaring, roaring, roaring around me.
Lorrrddd…. what am I supposed to DO, I plead.
He knows this is vital.
I go out to the mailbox. Start to ask a question of the young guy riveting the small strip of my front lawn like it is a sweeping expanse of Beverly Hills landscape. He stares… then pulls the till now imperceptible earphones from his head, smiles politely at this wild woman. I calm myself (he can’t really tell I’m a wild woman)… ask nicely… “Do you have any idea how long you might be today?” Explaining how I’m trying to work…how they were here all afternoon yesterday…
“Oh, just an hour, I think…” he says.
Okay, I can do that. I’ll take a break.
Two and a half hours roll on by. I can’t even close my eyes to rest and wait it out.
They say you can’t feel blood pressure, but I know I do. Father, I breathe. There’s… just no… peace.
Go to the lake.
Incredibly, I hear the whisper over… all…this…racket, but – Really, Lord… what if they are just about to stop? I can’t just —
Go… go to the lake. It’s peaceful. You need it.
I debate. A roaring motor whizzes by my right ear not too far from my closed window. For the umpteenth time. That lawn must be fighting back.
Quickly deciding then, I lock up…get in the car… take deep breaths…pray for an easy parallel parking space…get there in five minutes… and…
Instant. Beautiful. Serenity.
I find an empty bench set in a space spanning a few feet between two large trees on my left that have nearly fused together. Two others, leaning gracefully out over the water’s bank, on my right. The almost-fused trees remind me of a husband and wife, standing close together as one, her back against him, facing outwards as they stand, arms raised to the breeze, looking over the water. The two others…maybe...of Anne Shirley and her one-in-heart friend Diana, standing at the lake edge, lifting their faces into the light. Talking of pearls and plans and those they love.
Out on the serene azure water… a flotilla of tiny sailboats is circling…circling… as if in their own ballet. Rainbow sails gliding in and out of each other, casting deep smudges of oranges and reds and blues and greens into the water, mirages of color that look like they are sinking deep into the depths below each boat… As if I had taken my finger, dipped it in the water, rubbed paint from their sails then smudged zig-zags of color trails beneath them…
Barely a ripple disturbs the mirror they float upon…until… an obtrusive speed boat, it’s music blaring even clear across the lake, zips and careens beyond the sails… But in the wake of this momentary intrusion come lovely waves lapping just beyond me… lifting me to the rustling, whispering tree tops stirring their message of calm above.
That’s when I notice… the perfectly painted red heart at eye level on the fused tree trunk to my left. No carved initials. Just a pretty red heart… put there like an anonymous valentine. I think I’ve seen it before…but had forgotten. Today it is a reminder.
Relax in My love.
I sigh deeply… let it go… like bits of bread tossed out to the ducks bobbing on the water.
Farther off to my left, a little girl skips to the waters edge, her white sweater blowing, tiny skirt of many colors, billowing… and something in her sweet stance, dark-haired bob tied with a bow, is like little Anne Marie of twenty some years ago. Seeing her puts a lump in my throat, thinking of the real Anne Marie, newlywed and off to her own life now… Sometimes life is just photos that stay inside us… surfacing and flying like joyful balloons to the sky, here and there…
You were right, Lord. I needed this calming hour. Thank you for beauty so close to home. Thank you for peace that fills so completely, empties out frustration. Thank you that you have everything under control even when I don’t feel it… That you have doors already open that I don’t yet see… that your light is on my heart like the painted one on that tree… That this moment, right here, was planned for me and You today. Better than any plans of my own.
Two days wasted, I’d felt. Yet… ideas are flowing in this moment. Somehow they will come together. Tomorrow.
Another whisper. Call and talk with the condo management company. They can fix this.
Walking the path back to my car, I spot another…larger…painted red heart on the sidewalk, an emblem just as perfectly executed as the one on the tree. I wonder if it is the work of some random heart-loving artist, or…planned as a signature for this lake park. I smile… either way, it’s another little love note tucked in this hour.
Back home, I punch in the phone number, speak peaceably about it all. How it would work if they could just stick to a scheduled day and I could plan around them. “I will look into it and take care of it… I totally understand,” he says, just as amicably.
Tomorrow. Time enough to think tomorrow. Mmm… Maybe Scarlett O’Hara knew a thing or two, after all.
Maybe these two…LOUD…days have been like that careening motorboat, leaving me beautiful waves of time and motivation. And trust…to and in His time.
Or…just as possibly…to make you smile — one wild woman to another. 🙂
© Pam Depoyan
What do you do when good and necessary plans are thwarted by hammering interruptions?
Linking with Thought Provoking Thursday
and also to:
and with Cheryl for her True Vine Challenge
Check out her brand-new community!
Linking with Emily Wierenga at Imperfect Prose with the prompt: Encourage.