The impression of hard work is more significant than the actual work accomplished.  What gives the visual impression of work versus  the actual effort spent is so deceptive that the word “work” itself should really be called up for reassignment.

I slaved for the tomatoes that are now standing like Hitchcock horrors of the garden, but there are tomatoes growing out of the gray water runoff from the dishes and laundry; and I will shamefully admit,  I have been using very name brand, very non-organic detergent.    For all the plans, and expectations, and diligent, directed effort, what ends up really making a difference are the all those things you never understood, never planned for, and required exceptionally minimal effort to realize.  Of course, as always, and with everything, it all boils down to perceptions.

Everyone is an expert.  From tomatoes to laundry, from writing verse to anaylzing stocks, everyone has an opinion, and frankly, it is exhausting.  I am especially tired of results that are good only in theory.  There are tomatoes growing out of the proverbial gutter, flowering right at this minute promising to bear better fruit than I’ve had all season!  But those nurtured in the garden are withered brown demoralizing spindles. They were watered and fertilized and nurtured, and still there is nary a flower to inspect or encourage.

But I will try, because that’s what I do.  There is another kind of hope.  A hawk has taken up residence in our meager valley.  Everyday he is there, as consistent as the grass, and he gives me hope for my most challenging tasks of the fall.   The voles, and rabbits, and snakes, and yes, even my own mind.  Because I watch him sometimes, he hunts just outside my office window, and some days his perseverance is not only mind boggling, or, I admit, irritating, in its vocal enthusiasm, I find it still, somehow, inspiring.

If not now, then, when?  If not for us, then, for whom?  If not why, then, why not?  I hear him scream this to me, sometimes a dozen times a day, and every once in a call, I get it.