momzonroof

… she's not coming down 'til it all makes sense again…

anger management..

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The following post was drafted a year ago, June 3, 2015… I just discovered it today and decided to publish ‘er as is, unfinished and raw and intentional: 

Inspired by my daughter’s summer internship with a local land trust, and recently doing a little volunteering with them, digging and grading new trails..  It’s really caused me to take a fresh new look at our own little Single Acre Wood… Up until now, our woods have pretty much just been… sorta… just a bit of property we didn’t have to mow or landscape or weed wack… just sorta… meh… a place-holder, I guess… Too small to really be of any use, I thought…

Oh sure, every once in a while over the years, I’d leave the house in need of a little quiet time, and would venture into the little piece of woods.. I say that like it’s la de la de daaaaa pleasant venturing, but the truth is, it usually involved me being FURIOUS about something in my house, slamming the door behind me, and running red-faced and raving, tears streaming down my face, into the woods, where I would thrash about and sorta howl into the abyss, boo hooo my life is so harrrrrd…  Years ago, I’m told, my grandmother who raised 6 children and never drove a car, she took her own periodic red-faced trips into the very same woods… Sigh… it’s a thing… it’s a mom thing… and I’m sure it’s a hormone thing too…

(I wanted to use the word for the female hormone, but I just keep thinking “exedrin”… that’s not it… exedrin… testosterone is the male, and… exedrin… oh shivers… ESTROGEN, SHEESH…

But I would find myself sobbing in this woods…  swiping a wild paw across my face, streaking it with dirt and tears… and most of the time, I would eventually find some sort of peace there, gather myself, just kinda look around, and feel ridiculous. Woods will do that to you. Trees. Vines. Ferns… silent, swaying witnesses… make you see yourself..put things in perspective…

At one point, I had this idea that I should hit something inanimate. That it would be good to get that anger out. I don’t know, I grew up in the 70’s… My mom used to have me hit a pillow… So I had this old dull machete that I picked up at a yard sale, and I thought, next time I will take this machete and I will whack some stuff in the woods and I will discharge some of my anger in a healthy manner. I really thought that out. And so the next time a rage hit me, didn’t I grab that machete and tromp down into the woods, and commence to whacking and gnashing and smashing about, like some kinda… well… maniac. And didn’t I play myself out in about 2 minutes, and didn’t I look up and see, staring at me, mute witness to just how ridiculous and stupid and violent I looked, there were the trees and the vines and the ferns. Just watching, and blowing in the breeze… waiting… That was a turning point for me. I haven’t thrown or mashed much of anything in a very very long time. I don’t even yell any more. Really. I don’t yell. I’m realizing this.. Stuff gets broken, people make some whopper mistakes, stupendous mistakes, things get ruined…and I just breathe.. and wait for the next thing… like the trees…

The kids found some small uses for the woods too, periodically, they built a couple Little Rascalian forts, had some campfires, hung a rope swing… But other than that, not much has gone on there.  the trees just  whistle in the wind… sometimes fall… and wait..

There were times I would think, I should be down here, I should come here and sit and meditate, it’s so peaceful and pretty and green… I should come here and cultivate a practice, maybe I can head off some of those red-faced rages before they land… and then a bug would buzz near my head and I would think, ewwww, annoying…, there are no bugs in the house…

I never did it. I didn’t think an acre of woods as large enough to be really A Place.

When I was a kid, we roamed the 25 acres of woods down the hollow, that belonged to Mr. Pease. THOSE were woods, man! Trails everywhere, so many sights to see, power lines and streams and clearings and crossings.. you could get lost on 25 acres!! Oh my gosh, cantering on our very own ponies along those trails… why didn’t we realize we were the queens of the wooooorld, we had it all! PONIES?!! Who has their own pony???  Luckiest kids in the universe. so much freedom, so much… what…  we didn’t worry about being in the woods alone, we were safe, unencumbered, invulnerable, nobody questioned it, nobody said be careful little girls, nobody said carry your cell phone, lock your doors, don’t talk to strangers, carry mace, spike your car keys up through your fingers like brass knuckles so you can gouge out the assailant’s eyes, check under your car before you approach in the event an attacker is hiding beneath, ready to surely slash your achille’s heel and drag you under the vehicle… we just got on our ponies and rode, and all the old cliches, the wind through our hair and the sun flashing through the trees, white sky, white, white, flashing, I can see it like it’s happening right now, the trees are rushing past us, and my fat little pony lunging lunging, struggling to keep up with the bigger ponies, oh he was a master trotter, Sherman, trit trit trit trit… trotting was his specialty, trotting on a midget horse makes your teeth go chatter chatter chatter, pounds the top of your head with the trit trit trit… and then so glorious when he would finally break into a canter… an all too brief gentle gliding cantor, which makes your long hair do that amazing flop flip flow thing, the thing they always show in slow motion in the movies…

But where was I… a single acre of woods. A football field, really, an acre is about the size of a football field. You can’t get lost on a football field! Not sure why I think you have to get lost in order for it to be “woods”…

So cutting new trails with the land conservation people, hacking and raking and pruning and loping… trying to understand grading and erosion… did you know that it is rainwater’s main goal in life to gather as much life-sustaining soil as it can and move it down down down and into the ocean!  That’s all rain wants to do, Rain is almost like the villain in trail-making… (I live in a cartoon, I always have to have a villain) But seeing those new trails come to life, right at the end of my own shovel…knowing that families, kids, dogs, will walk there, will see trillium in the spring, may apples, phlox.. frogs, spiders, pill bugs… it inspired me to take another look in my own back yard.. woods that weren’t being conserved or enjoyed or appreciated. Woods that were waiting…

Why can’t we have a trail? Why, indeed…

And so we armed ourselves, with rakes, hoes, shovels, pruners, lopers, and one ill-advised recently scary sharpened machete… How lucky am I to have daughters who want to be outside, and who enjoy yard work, I mean they actually want to move and do this stuff, digging and cutting and hauling and raking…

We started at the woods edge  (this is the unfinished part, some other stuff should go here…)

my daughters already know the empowerment born of hacking through brush and creating a new path!

franki's deer

(end result, we hacked a trail through our little bit o’ woods, and it’s really cute, and OHHHH I forgot the best part, we were working out there in the evening, and don’t you know, we discovered this little fawn not 3 ft from the trail, right where we were hacking and slashing away!!  It was like some sort of fairy presence, just huddled there, tiny, speckled, not moving a muscle… except to breathe… waiting for us to leave…  We left her alone for a few minutes, and didn’t mama come and whisk her away like forest magic! )

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2 thoughts on “anger management..

  1. Oh just heavenly! Beautiful.

  2. Another glorious description of your life. I love it…and especially the discovery of that sweet little fawn.

And what about Naomi?

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