A Focus for My Life

As I was wandering around my property, planning my next step in turning the yard into a micro park, my focus shifted, as it sometimes does, and suddenly it all seemed so foolish. I could only think, “Why am I doing this?”

I had no answer for my question because at that moment, it truly did seem silly to be doing all this planning and working, spending money on plants and seeds, and setting myself up for a huge summer water bill as well as months of work each year to keep up with the maintenance once the project is completed.

My focus eventually shifted away from the silliness of it all, though a bit of that feeling lingers. In a way, it really is silly, and yet, why not? It’s no sillier than the rest of my life. I write books that few people read. I read books that do nothing more than keep my mind occupied while time passes. I prepare meals that go in one end and come out the other. (And nothing, really, is sillier than that!)

If I had anything more profound to do than to turn my yard into a place of beauty (or rather, to try to do so since the results are, to a great extent, out of my control) I would probably be doing that instead. And yet, gardening — just the act of gardening itself — might be as profound as anything else. I’d say it was joining in the act of creation, but so much of gardening is as much destruction as it is about creation. For example, weeds are natural, a part of creation, but we gardeners take it upon ourselves to choose which plants live and which die. And all the rock I have around my house to protect the foundation came from the destruction of a mountain.

Perhaps with gardening and landscaping, I am just revving my internal engine, creating work for myself to no great end, but I don’t suppose it matters. It gets me outside, for one thing. Gives me a focus, for another.

It is good to have a focus, and even if that focus slips once in a while to reveal the foolishness of that focus, it’s still good. At least — in my case — it keeps my mind off the very real inanity of daily living. I mean, truly, what’s it all about? Going to bed. Dreaming. Getting up. Working and working out. Sweating. I could go on, but there’s no need to. You know what I’m talking about — all those dreary rites of maintenance that only serve to keep the body functional.

So see? It’s a good thing I have my various yard projects to focus on! I just need to occasionally remind myself of that.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.