Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Flesh Is Weak

After four hours of digging and sawing and prying and slicing, I was exhausted. Drenched in layers of earth and sweat and venom. Weary beyond belief. And it was just yardwork. Honest, ardous work. With my hands and my back. Man against nature. I'm not sure who won.

I can only imagine how tough my forefathers had to be. They spent days and weeks at a stretch, clearing farmland or leveling a foundation. I had a recipricating saw, machete, shears, rake, and the ever-handy fubar. They did it without power tools. Without Gatorade. And probably little more than a single long handled axe and a knife.

My sweat bought me a couple of projects: one less dead bush behind the deck, two entire trashcans of bamboo roots hauled to the alley, three old shrubs cleared along side the fence, replaced two missing pickets, dug up a small stump, and muscled up three wheel barrows full of roots from either old stumps or the few remaining ones. I still have about a third of the fence to do. The extension cord wasn't long enough and I ran out of daylight before I could do more.

But I learned that nature does nothing lightly. I'm two hundred pounds and I could barely budge some of the long, gangly roots. No idea how old they were. Many could have outdated me. But I cut them up with the saw, sliced into them with the machete, or pulverized them with the fubar. And in the end, I was pretty much useless for the rest of the night. But it felt good. Felt GREAT. Working with my hands. Cutting lose my pent up frustrations. It bordered on cathartic. Natural therapy. And a harder workout than most I get from the gym.

Those old homesteaders had to be made of stone. My flesh is obviously weak.

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