My husband and I have been working on a project. All summer. In the heat.
Last February I asked him, “Beloved, what do you want for your birthday?” (His birthday was not until March 31st, but, I was trying to plan ahead, something I never do! Or,was I trying to make “polite conversation?”)
I want a pool.
A pool? Like an in- the -ground pool?????
Yes. Like an in the ground pool.
Needless to say, I was not on board with this desire of his for a very very long time.
Over the next several weeks, I would find my Beloved on his notebook computer searching for pool companies. Next followed several afternoons when I would find a strange but polite men sitting at our kitchen table with all sorts of catalogs and samples strewn all over the table and the two men intently engaged in conversation. I would acknowledge the man, take note that there was nothing on the table for the man to drink, walk to the cabinet to retrieve a glass and fill it with cold water from the pitcher in the fridge and hand it to the man. Sometimes I would sit and join in the conversation. More often than not, I would retreat into the bedroom to unwind from the day at school.
One afternoon I found two or three men up in our trees in the front yard, trimming limbs. When I went around to the back yard, our live oak and crepe myrtle were gone! Nothing but tree stumps! Shocked, I went to Beloved and after seeing the huge smile on his face, realized that these men were helping to make his dream become a reality!
In late May different crews of men came through our backyard with backhoes, shovels, concrete, plaster, tile and slowly our backyard began to take on a completely different look. As the pool was being worked on, Beloved and I began going to all the nurseries and garden centers looking for specific plants. Beloved had a dream for the landscape, too, and it was huge. He wanted a prayer garden, consisting of benches, a fountain, pillars, etc., etc. He envisioned red, white and blue flowering plants in this section of the yard, he said to me one afternoon, pointing to a spot on the other side of the pool, and knock out roses over there.
One day, when I was still not excited about this adventure, Beloved looked at me and said softly, “Sweetheart, at my age, a man needs a project to keep him going. This is my project.” His tender expressive honesty won me over. I was now in. He had me. From then on we entered Houston Home and Garden hand in hand with a unified vision.
We’ve been continuing to work on the landscaping even after a month since we put the hose in the pool and filled it up. After getting hot, sticky, muddy, gritty and exhausted, we have been shedding our gardening clothes in the utility room and putting on our swim suits and plopping in the pool to cool off and gaze at all the beauty around us. And it has been satisfying.
The other day, I decided to clean up the front yard and add some Asian jasmine to a bare section near the swing where there was little sunshine. As I sat down in the dirt and started to dig some shallow holes over all the roots from the live oak beside me, I began to think about what all I needed to do. Suddenly I stopped and redirected my thoughts. Dianne, you’ve always loved to dig in the dirt. Why don’t you just enjoy this moment! Enjoy the right now of digging in the dirt. You’ll get to the next project soon enough. And you know what? I did! I truly enjoyed being all muddy and gritty and wet and when they were planted, I also enjoyed a very hot shower and clean clothes! No, I didn’t swim until the evening when Beloved got home. I went instead off to the next project.
But I am going to enjoy it, too! One project at a time. all in joy. All in the moment. We don’t have a promise of the next project or even the next breath. We are advised in scripture, to “count it ALL joy!”
Now, you go out with JOY and be led forth in His peace!