April 28, 2019
Four years ago we broke ground to undertake the project to end all projects (and possibly marriages) in our home. We began The Water System, to harvest rain water to be our home's sole supply of water. Suffice it to say, for various reasons, this undertaking was an immense source of stress and heartache.. and even though these many years later it is indeed functioning and bringing potable water in to my home, it is not 'finished' and part of the tanks remained exposed, standing as grim sentinels in my field: a constant, bittersweet reminder of the blood, sweat, and tears that went in to placing them there. The sweet taste of the rainwater brings with it a reminder of the price, the loss. What we had to sacrifice for this gift.
How familiar this is. Though the details are different, this theme is played out in each of our lives, so many times. What have we had to sacrifice, to leave in the underworld, to give up in order to receive, to bring something back, to move forward and grow?
The journey back is a long and slow one. Sometimes healing is quick, sometimes, it seems like our efforts are so futile. So much work is done with no results to show for it. Weeks turn in to months with only a small improvement.. stymied again by an unknown, a surprise, another puzzle to solve, the months turn in to years with only small success to show for the effort.. a trimmed pipe here, a coat of paint there.
When suddenly, we have those turns in life, those moments were we catch our breath, where the allies come and give us aid, nourishment, refreshment. We take a giant leap forward, and the clock begins ticking anew.
This weekend, with the help of loved ones, we buried the tanks.. we laid the weary heartache to rest. Today I will smooth over the fresh earth and plant seeds that would have never taken root had the earth not been ripped apart to hold the tanks. The fresh soft soil is like the new tender skin that grows on a deep wound. It will never be the same as it once was. It will always remind us of what it took to be the people we are today. But it won't hurt the same way that it used to. And the gift will become apparent.. but only to those who know what's beneath the surface.