I’m grateful to have experienced today the joy of being helped. After visiting on Thursday, Hilary offered to come help me clean up the pond. I’ve been waiting three years for the right day and the right person to help with this overwhelming task. Today it all came together. It was cool enough to work pulling and cutting around the pond, yet hot enough to then get into the pond to work. The two little dogs found shade under the garden cart. Stellar mostly stayed inside, where it was cooler, on his soft bed.
Hilary pulled mint and chopped cattails, while I worked the Worx weedwhacker on weeds and grasses. After that we tackled the pond, clearing a huge biomass of rushes, roots, mint, muck, and a few accidental lilies. She did all the really hard work, cutting, chopping, loading the garden cart, hauling to the compost pile. While I got to wade in cool water, gently nudging, cajoling, and pulling up soft roots. I was careful with my hands, and it felt great to be doing something, however little, after all this time. Still, yes, I overdid, and am paying for it with extra pain this evening. What a gift her cheerful energy was, and how her mindful attention allowed me to trust her with the means and the goal: what plants to ‘harvest,’ which to leave, and the overall vision of simply liberating the free flow of water.
All the hours of hard work barely scratched the surface of the pond congestion after three years of letting it go wild. But it was a perfect project for an August afternoon, a great start. And I experienced the unusual sensation of letting someone help me who wanted to authentically enough, that by being helped I was giving her gratification also.
What was almost entirely overgrown now has lanes of clear water through it, a clean outlet, and water lilies that can breathe. Much more to clear eventually, but having made a good start with help and support, having overcome the inertia of that first step, I am grateful to know I can take a cooling dip once in a while, and nibble away at this elephant one bite at a time. I am grateful for help, and for the reverse gift of accepting help from one who wants to give it.