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Soldiering on today, I plan to continue my project—preparing a new home site for myself on a small parcel of land. It’s been scooped of trees and scrubby growth; a building has been installed; and a shed begs to be built. I imagine, as my red truck carries me down the highway, what I will accomplish when I arrive. Surely I’ll have time to drive a few screws into the new wood I bought last week for the shed, and attach some pieces to the upright posts. Maybe there’ll be time to dig two new holes for those ten-foot four-by-fours that lie in waiting on the ground. It’s a beautiful fall day, the sky silky blue, the air less laden with moisture than usual.

I arrive, backing my truck up to the building where I’ll eventually live. I swing open the door of my truck, put my feet on the ground, and am hit with a storm of exhaustion and fatigue. I slump into the lawn chair next to the building, pull the other one up for my feet, and drop my head. Disappointment and near-despair take a seat in my lap. I close my eyes, and, finally catch myself.

It is acceptance that is required, not fighting against the current pressures in my life.

After I time, I stand, begin to putter, and bow to this reality: I will not be moving mountains, or even a few ten-foot posts, today. So, I dip water from the five-gallon bucket I’ve brought, and pour it into the birdbath. This humble vessel serves the birds, thirsty wasps, and me—just by shimmering in the light. I take some steps back, survey the lines of bricks I’ve set in the ground, and find respite in this moment. Reflected in the shallow bowl of water are the sky, leaves, branches, and trunk of the young oak tree.

Some times, acceptance is all that’s required.


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Ellen Hamilton