For quite some time I’ve thought about putting bark around the plants in my yard. When I came to live here, fresh bark had been spread everywhere, and now it was getting old. Much of it had gone, either into the earth or victim of the leaf blower. I talked about it and thought about it, and finally decided it had to happen this week. We are in a drought and the bark will surely help retain the soil’s moisture. On Wednesday I decided that I would go and buy it the next day.
On Thursday morning, I went to the landscape center and with their assistance, decided I would need three yards of small bark pieces. They offered to deliver it that very day. I went by the hardware store on my way home and bought two five-gallon buckets and then came and waited for the bark to arrive. Soon a white dump truck pulled up, and the driver asked where I wanted it. When I told him the driveway would be fine, he backed up, pulled a lever, and BAM! I had a huge pile of bark in my driveway. Huge. The picture you see above was taken after I’d covered two of the front garden beds.
Hoping my son would come home soon to help me, I began work. Bucket after bucket I carried, pouring then spreading then going back for more. This went on all afternoon, and again after my gym workout. By the time I went to bed, the front was finished. My son managed to stay away until it was too late to help.
This morning I got up and began again. When I’d done about half of the backyard, my daughter and her funny toddler came to help finish it off. What a gift their help was! I was just at the point of wanting to sit down and rest often enough that doing the job would’ve taken all morning just because I was resting so much!
Now that it’s done, and it looks really great, I’m thinking about the idea of setting oneself a big task and then having to see it through, whether you have help or not. I think in the past I may have organized it, and then let it sit until I had help to do it. Once a job gets old, it can be really hard to resurrect it and get it done. But my driveway was not usable. There was no tomorrow!
I found that I did enjoy the work. It was kind of a rote task. Shovel, carry, pour, spread, repeat. There is a satisfaction in having done a hard thing, or if not really a hard thing, a big thing, a thing I meant to do and was a little overwhelmed by, and finally did. There is satisfaction in knowing that I can accomplish whatever I want to without waiting for anyone else.