...there is a neighbor where I work. A older man of Asian decent, I imagine a young grandfather to the little children that now run around. When they moved in, the younger man of the family caused much distress by taking down all most all of the trees we loved that divided the two properties. Since that time we have all caught glimpses of this man at different times tending to the land. The lack of trees gives us little choice but to see him.
Over the winter, after each rain...he could be found carefully and slowly working the hillside. With a tiny trowl and smaller shovel, working out a terrace in the hill. Using the softness of the ground after the rains to his advantage. As the sun creeps its way back into the spring time, he is known to walk the hill, pulling each individual weed.
They have also striped out the front yard...and slowly, one by one are adding elements back in. There is one strip of new sod...a few weeks old now. As I drove up this morning I witnessed something I had thought was truly gone from our everyday assistance...especially in the fast paced bay area.
He is at this moment, carefully and slowly trimming the new sod with the smallest lawn mower known to man...a simple pair of scissors. And then gracefully sweeping the cuttings away with a natural broom.
I know not what rattles in his own mind as he does these tasks...but I know what it does for mine. It made me stop dead. Thoughts of discarding 75% of my belongings and truly embracing a life less cluttered. When taking such time and attention to something like trimming the grass, literally, could be a meditation in patience.
Instead, I am surrounded by speed, and things and actions that require my life live at a certain speed.
However, since Hawaii...I am getting much better about noticing and changing things when they are too much. The time in Hawaii and the time taken this last year to really connect with myself and the earth beneath my feet has had its effect and for that I am grateful.
I doubt I will ever have the patience that this gentle man has...but just observing him, seeing how he works, watching the land change over time, is effecting me.
I miss the trees...but I am thankful for the view.