A little every day.
August 2, 2019
Three months ago, this was a cluttered, dirty back patio and a side yard clogged with weeds and trash and dog poop and always had been since I moved in four years ago. I never went back there because that is where my neighbor took her dogs to poop sometimes. And I was okay with that. Who needs a side yard?
But last year, whenever it rained, my back patio started filling up and overflowing. Into. My. House. I knew it was because the clutter in the side yard was keeping the rain from draining but I didn’t have the energy to deal with it. So I just put down towels around the door and, as I often have in the past with many things, hoped for as little damage as possible.
Then I quit my job and my brother moved in, not necessarily in that order or in order of importance. And we had a very rainy spring. I was constantly worried that the house was going to flood badly. So we cleaned out the side yard. Pulled weeds. Threw away trash and other. . . stuff.
It was gross but helped a little. One day, when the patio flooded, I tried digging a drainage ditch through the side yard and out into the back. That helped a little more. Then I dug more and put down rocks. That really helped. At that point, I was on a roll. This is what we ended up with.
We call it the Little Brazos.
I admit it, we worked pretty hard some days, digging and carrying bags of rocks and mulch. But most days, I just went outside for a little while. Moved things around so they got more or less sun (not a lot of sun on the patio and what there is is blazing hot). Watered. Transplanted. Whenever it rained, I would go out in it and adjust the flow of the river. Had a few failures (I’m not sure the rosemary and the lavender are going to make it) (and the columbine bit the dust early on). There was that day when I slipped in the mud and fell on my back with a bag of rocks on top of me. Had a few successes (kind of shocked by the honeysuckle, tbh). Some struggles (wth phlox). The basil is new and is taking over. It’s all just a science experiment. But I’m a sciencey girl so I love it.
My point here is that I did a little every day and now we have this to look at when we eat. I have this place to sit and drink my coffee in the morning, maybe do a few yoga poses. When it cools off, we can spend more time out here (but there’s not much of a breeze so it gets pretty hot back there right now). But I’m quite proud of what we created with a consistent effort.
And, much like when you have a regular creative practice, it keeps the rain out.
So what little thing can you do today to keep the rain from flooding in and overwhelming you? One. Little. Thing. Me? I took a photo of the Little Brazos in the rain. And here we are, 540 words later.
(Originally written for our Creative Encouragement FB group)