The announcement of another lockdown, talk of new COVID-19 variants, bad news close to home, another family holiday dinner cancelled, missing my college kid far from home and the realization that the Easter Bunny forgot my Cadbury Crème Egg this year, was a lot to take in on Sunday morning.

Yet, I wholeheartedly refuse to give in to the cynicism, anger, frustration or fear in the world. Enough already. It’s bad. I know. I get it. Solution? Get outside. Walk away from the noise. So, I put my phone away, turned off the TV and stepped out into sunlight. Time to get dirty.

I work inside all day. My household chores are all inside too. My husband, the Carpenter, is always puttering about outside. It may be the not-so-secret secret to our marriage. Separation keeps us close. But, when he forgets to honour the 29-year tradition of delivering my sugary Easter crème egg, despite my remembering his caramels and licorice Easter treats, well, then trespassing into his terrain to help with yard work seems like fair play, or payback, if you will. There is nothing that man loves more than my help in the yard (giggle). Ah, life. It’s the little things that bring me joy, like Cadbury Crème Eggs and annoying my spouse.

The physical pain in his reaction to my keenness to help is visible. He does his best to hide it, but that vein in his forehead bulges and I know this is going to be a fun afternoon in the garden. And he knows if he shows any unease, I’ll go into the garage and touch stuff.

The Carpenter put me to work with a task I am confident he assumed I would dislike and quit, thereby sending me back indoors. I was to remove the wet winter leaves from the garden boxes. After he mocked me for my insistence that I wear gloves, I endured a short lecture on why getting my hands dirty was the whole point of gardening (which I ignored). Then, I sat on the damp ground and got to work.

It was amazing. Peeling back the blanket of damp leaves that had layered over the garden beds was liking finding treasure. Underneath was a world of magic. Bright green stems poking up from the dark soil. The rich smell of the earth. Tiny bugs scrambling for cover, worms wiggling and a long-legged spider daintily walking away from the disruption (I didn’t even panic). Tulips, daffodils, the twirl of future Hostas, clustered florets of Sedum, and perennials blooming with delicate flowers that look hand-painted. Resilient and strong. These hearty stems have long been peeking through darkness, growing toward the light. They strive to thrive. What a perfect metaphor for all of us this past year.

I know this week the negative news has just piled on and I know we’re all well past done with it. It’s exhausting and heavy. I get it. I feel it too. Now imagine going through all this knowing the Easter bunny forgot your Cadbury Crème Egg. Imagine that horror. Who forgets chocolate during a pandemic lockdown? Ahem.

Wait. Maybe the chocolate egg is in the garage? Shhh. Be right back. Don’t tell the Carpenter. Some tools are about to get moved about.

And next week, I will help rake stuff. He’ll love that. So much.

WriteOut of Her Mind