Taking a breather…in the calming hour

stock photo : A tired sleepless woman puts the pillow over her head and looks helplessly at camera. Isolated over white.Deafening decibels raging around me all afternoon yesterday and today are making me think crazy thoughts.

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.

stock photo : A painted heart on the trunkThat’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  

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Linking with Emily Wierenga at Imperfect Prose with the prompt: Encourage.


About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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18 Responses to Taking a breather…in the calming hour

  1. nsdastockton says:

    “…one wild woman to another”…LOL! I can so relate. There were years when nothing was ever quiet and I was not able to escape. Homeschooling, 5 kids, nieces, nehpews, neighborhood kids…working from home….no real space to myself…anywhere. Maybe that is why I stayed up soooo late…LOL! Than I had one baby who ALSO was a night owl… Just this year, we finally have everyone – all who needed us – kids, grands, other family and friends – OUT of the house….and on their own!

    What a difference. I put on my shooters headphones and everything else is quiet…LOL! Hard to work from home….I know. Now it is jsut coping with the 6 cats, 2 rabbits and 3 chickens the kids and grandkids couldn’t take with them…I still feel like I have kids…(sigh)

    Blessings! I chuckled all the way through – especially at HOW God gets HIS message of love and comfot across to us when we least expect it – and in ways we least expect.

  2. lolitavalle says:

    Oh Pam. you make me think of the days at home on day-offs, that our neighbor so close, would be blaring out their videoke while singing along. I’m not a good singer, can’t sing a note, but I don’t disgust my neighbor with it. One guy can sing well though, but he doesn’t give a dam if he is singing lazily which makes his singing quite unattractive. Then children would shout to the microphone call them singing. How I wish, they just mime the song or do sign language. There are days that make wild, I have some, and even nights.

    Good that you had the time to spend on the lake, for a break, and to get a fair resolve to talk to the guys.

    Have a good evening, Pam. …. and a good rest.

    • Yes… this has actually been going on a lot of the time over the years. I’ve just not complained. Well…you can guess why it’s so important right now. I pray peace over your home too! When they aren’t buzzing around here, or even when it is just one day as they are hired to do, it’s mostly so peaceful here. I am grateful for my home and good neighbors. Thanks for understanding this wild woman, Lolita. 🙂

  3. MaryLou says:

    Yes, Pam you made me smile as I think back to times when I want peace and there is noise all around. I think of the times when I am on break walking through the cemetery it is usually pretty peaceful. Then there are the times when the gardeners there are making all kinds of noise and I know that they do have to cut the lawn but it does disturb my usual quiet time. I do enjoy the scent of the cut grass though. I also really liked that you found two painted hearts. Thank you for sharing this very interesting day with us. 🙂

    • I know… it used to be so horrible when I lived in an apartment, unbearable noise into the latest hours. I’m so grateful for my home and it is true that the gardeners need to work. It’s just crazy how they come several times a week here and there though, instead of doing it all on their scheduled day. Yes, it is fun to see that heart on the tree and sidewalk. Glad you enjoyed this… 🙂

  4. Sharon O says:

    I am absolutely agreeing with you. I do not like leaf blowers or any other loud ‘outside noise’. Love the quiet…so glad you went to the lake and let your heart rest. Sometimes that is all we do need to do …get a change of scene and direction for a while.

  5. Diane says:

    Hey, Wild Woman! LOL! Yeah, I’m not the only one!

    First of all, I do think it IS A PLOT! The enemy of your soul’s PLOT to disrupt your peace, your writing, to keep you from hearing the Still, Small Voice. But, “ha” to him! Because you did hear!

    I’m so glad you had a peacful time at the lake – a chance to recoop. I love the Love messages our Father sent you through the painted hearts. I love that you acted on His Wisdom to let the office know.

    Pam, you are a doer of The Word – whether in print or spoken to your heart. With that our Father is most pleased. And yes, the doors are already opened unto you. You will walk through them soon!

    Wouldn’t it be just bliss if we could visit Prince Edward Island? To visit the Lake of Shinning Waters? I need a touch of Ann with an “e” right about now.

    May your day be peaceful today my sister and may you get a lot accomplished!

  6. Oh yes, going to Prince Edward Island would be wonderful. A friend and I have often said that too. Maybe someday… Thanks, Diane. In a very real sense, what you say is true because you know it is important for me to get some things done right now… and so many things in the way. But I just needed to give that frustration over… and I know God is going to take care of it. It made me smile to see those hearts… Couldn’t believe that I actually found a photo of a tree like that too! Thanks for your encouraging words. I needed them.

  7. Anne Marie says:

    Beautiful description of the Lake, Pam! I remember going on a “date” with you to that lake and feeding the ducks. I was very young so tell me if I remember this correctly or not: I have a distinct memory of a duck coming so close it bit my hand! Since my hand was do tiny, it fit all the way in the duck’s bill. It didn’t hurt, just surprised me! Maybe it was a dream, but I know for sure we spent good times there together. 🙂

    • Yes!! Anne Marie, I had forgotten we went there that day… 🙂 The duck did not bite you, but I think you were very afraid it might! (I wasn’t about to let any crazed duck do that to you!) I love how your imagination filled in the rest of that, though! 😉 And that you remember it. I think you were three. I always remember you in your little skirts and dresses at that age… you always loved to dress up. We went for ice cream after that.

      I think it was the day that I had planned to take you out on a date.. just the two of us. I remember I’d taken off work to pick you up, but we had to postpone it because Jenn was suddenly about to be born! And that original day I spent with the three of you as we awaited the momentous news. We were all on pins and needles! So our “date” must have followed a bit after that. But now that you say it, I can clearly see you there in my mind… all those ducks were suddenly coming up out of the water and waddling around our feet with their beaks snapping for food. I think they even seemed a bit scary to ME. 🙂

  8. Yes. When it’s too tiring, too constantly noisy we need someplace to hide from the world that is confronting us constantly. So nice to go to a lake or a quiet woods place. But, usually, we just have to keep facing everyday reality. [I like to hide, too….]

    • There are times like this one when there’s nothing you can do about it…but yes, most of the time we just have to keep plodding. But even then, I love that God leads us to respites. I’m grateful to live so near to a pretty little lake. Where I grew up, I’d have to drive for hours to find such a spot. Thanks, Joanne.

  9. Oh my goodness! I absolutely love this glimpse of your day (though sorry it stretched your patience thin). I love the whisper to go to the lake, your obedience and the peace you felt there. I’m grateful for God’s goodness, given to you in those beautiful red hearts, too.

    Praying for a lovely, productive tomorrow. And many more. And just as many days of peace and rest. Manowach.

    • Cheryl, thank you so much for your encouraging words! This was what I hoped people would take away from this story most… how God opens up grace in the midst of craziness, helps us hear Him and even leaves little evidences of His heart for us there. Thank you for your prayers… I’m in the midst of some lengthy writing that I’ll share about when it is finished… I pray the same for you! 🙂 Stop by again… I’m going to be doing a wonderful book giveaway soon, courtesy of one of my favorite authors! 🙂

  10. Holly says:

    As the homeschooling mom of two boys I am acutely aware of the constant noise phenomenon. When the raucous rodeo drones on and I feel caught up in the strength of it, it is then that I must remember that there is an eye in every storm. A place of peace and stillness that defies the craziness spinning around it. I’m so glad you found your eye.
    Visiting from Imperfect Prose.

    • I know there is a lot of commotion that must accompany all that you are doing as a mom and teacher, but beautiful rewards too. May He bring you those still moments even in the midst of it all (as you say, in the eye)… glimpses of his heart there with you and your family. And getaway ones too… if even for an hour. Respites to refresh no matter how long. Thanks for visiting. Hope you come back 🙂

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