This time of year there is so much to do.
And there is a constant to do list, plus a set of goals and a plan constantly under revision in my head. The to do list amplifies and grows to monstrous proportions right before the end of the year.
I can be quite hard on myself when responding to my to do’s.
My little ego voice says, “I can’t believe you did not get that done”!
Today on a short jaunt in the cold, I talked myself into stopping by our garden plot. The little ego voice in my head has been nagging for months about putting the garden to bed properly for the winter.Taking care of the beds with sweet piles of compost and cut back plants. Alas, too many to do’s and it is now freezing outside. Nothing more to do.
What is done is done in the garden.
As I climbed the path to the garden, puffed up birds rustle in the half frozen leaves and a few bushy rats scurry by. When I reached the garden and began to survey the rotten zucchini and frost bitten succulents, a mossy green sparrow, white around her eyes, visits my garden. She scavenges, clearly undisturbed by my presence, she flies up close and sits down right next to my knee. I give her a good look and a smile. She pauses, tilts her bird head and looks me in the eye. Then she is off to the next crisp garden bed.
This little bird was enjoying my garden, finding something useful in the unkempt, winter dead.
My heart is set at ease again.
It isn’t all going to get done this year.
That is okay there is beauty to be found in the undone.
A quote for keeps
There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence, and that is activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of this innate violence.
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone and everything is to succumb to violence.
The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace, because it kills the root of the inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
– Thomas Merton