Thursday, April 9, 2009

Two Trash Cans at a Time

“It is a fact that in the right formation, the lifting power of many wings can achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.” ~Author Unknown

I love gardening. There is something very magical about watching a small plant grow and thrive, and finally bloom in an explosion of mesmerizing colors. I create a mental image of what my yard will look like before I even go to the store, and carefully pick out my plants to match the vision.

What I don’t like is getting the flower beds ready for planting. Once springtime approaches, I walk outside several times and sigh at the task ahead, often postponing weed pulling one more day. Needless to say, rain is my friend – not specifically because it softens the ground or helps the grass grow, but mostly because if it’s raining I have an excuse to postpone the work even longer.

A few days ago, my parents arrived from Italy. Those who personally know my mother also know that keeping her away from a yard in need of help is harder than keeping a child away from candy at the check-out line of the grocery store.

Today, after we spent the first few days after my parents’ arrival at home, she finally sneaked out into the yard to soak in the sunshine. And five minutes hadn’t passed before she kneeled down to pull the first weed.

It all escalated from that moment on – she called my father outside and asked him to help her out. When I walked outside with three steaming cups of coffee, both of them were deeply engrossed in the task at hand. As I stood there, I felt awkward just watching, so I finished my coffee and went to work with them.

We all worked together and filled the trash cans I normally reserve for yard waste in no time. I told my parents how much I appreciated their help, as images of a beautiful, manicured yard quickly began to race through my mind. I mentioned that we still had a lot to do, and my mom simply responded: “true, we still have more work to get done to get everything up to par, but two hours ago these two trash cans were empty. We are only in the beginning stages and it’s hard to see results now, but you can begin to imagine what it will look like once it’s finished. We are two steps closer to getting it done.”

We often give up when we don’t see tangible results, because we don’t realize that even if our goal is not fully achieved, things are still moving beneath the surface toward the realization of our hopes and dreams.

A little nudging from the outside and team work can easily motivate us to jump in and do our part. When working together it's easy to get things accomplished and realize that even some of the hardest work can be fun - moment by moment, and two trash cans at a time.

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