Thursday, September 11, 2008

THURSDAY THINGAMAJIG: Random Thoughts on Manual Labor

Over Labor Day weekend, at our house, we labored, Gail and I. Out with the sedentary! On with the strenuous!

We prepared, cleaned and painted our three-level deck (at least one year overdue for refurbishing), shoveled and wheeled and lugged dirt to areas in our back yard where we are trying again to make grass grow, carried bricks and used them to mark off an area for plants and ground cover and then set them in the ground, hoed weeds and raked soil, sowed grass seed, hauled straw, chopped down most of an old apple tree that had died in last summer's drought, and trimmed bushes grown wild and high and all convoluted through neglect.

Sweat constantly blurred my glasses and soaked my shirt. Blisters, cuts and scrapes appeared on hands and legs. At night the muscles in my lower back screamed at me. I'm sure I drank gallons of iced tea. After showering at night we collapsed into bed. I can't speak for Gail, but I continued to haul dirt all night in my dreams, back and forth, back and forth, tossing and turning in the bed with each barrow full. Next morning, somehow, we dragged ourselves from under the covers and went at it again.

Nothing has felt so good in a long time.

"It is not possible to devalue the body and value the soul."

(Wendell Berry)

No comments: