“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
Location, location, location. That is what we were thinking when we built our home in the woods. We thought of the beautiful esthetic setting without considering the fact that our building site was on a downward slope.
Every spring since we have lived here the floodgates of the heavens have been thrown wide open and we have been hit with walls of water. Rushing streams pour off the street, cut crevices through our graveled driveway, and race toward our house leaving our yard a muddy mess. It was annoying, but, oh well.
However, this spring is different. This spring I have a water feature and a rose garden.
One morning after a night of storms and heavy rain, I walked on the front porch to survey the damage. Six inches of gravel and silt blanketed my flowerbed and our water feature full of silt. The water’s color was that of coffee with a lot of cream. That day I shoveled out two wheelbarrow loads of rock and grit wondering how I could prevent this from happening again because heavy rain was in the forecast.
I surveyed around me and my gaze fell on a pile of large stones that Neal had found for me on the property. That should do the trick! These things were so big that I had to roll them in place. But at the end of the day I had a nice wall that should stop the rock and silt slide.
Two mornings later after another night of furious storms I walked out to find the same scenario. I stalked out and examined the barrier to find the water had dug under and between these huge stones creating a crevice for gravel and silt to flow through.
I had to rethink my strategy. After I rolled the stones out of the way, shoveled out the gravel and replaced the stones I noticed the irregularities in the rock that had allowed the water to flow under and around. So I found smaller stones and wedged them under the large stones to keep the water from digging under them. I also used small rocks to fill in the cracks between them. Then I found gravel to fill in between the small rocks and tamped them in until they were tight.
That did the trick.
As I surveyed my barrier, I thought of how we all need each other to fight off life’s onslaughts. Even the most powerful among us has irregularities that someone else can fill. Neal and I are perfect examples of this thought. We are complete opposites in every personality test we have taken. But instead of letting our differences separate us, we’ve learned to embrace them. Where I’m weak, he is strong. Where he is weak, I am strong.
Neal is organized, logical, and neat. I’m not. I am creative, social, and adventurous. He’s not. He is the gravel that fills in around my creativity. He helps organize my chaos. I am the gravel around his logic that softens he absolute and helps him see the possibilities.
From him I’ve learned to be organized (just don’t look at my desk, I know where everything is—really, I do!) He has learned from me how to be pleasantly social.
Think about the people in your life. What can you learn from them? Don’t feel you must do everything on your own. Yes, you may be strong—like my stones—but life has a way of finding our irregularities and sometimes sweeps us away. Be open to someone helping you. And, if you see someone who has a need you can fill, be available.
Bottom line, we need each other. No matter how different we are.