Always Forward

Monday, March 30, 2015

One night last summer I sat next to one of my brothers on his deck, just for a moment before he left for the evening. We talked for that moment about incremental improvements. He and his wife are renovating a house and a downtown building; I'm managing a farm. At the time he was mudding the walls at the building, and the deck we sat on had a new floor--stacked, waiting to be laid. I had fences to put up--I still have fences to put up.

It's really hard to see progress in the bits and pieces. When you're a part of the process of progress, it's hard to see that this year things are better than last. This is why I like keeping a journal and taking photos. Marks on the wall to remember where things were, where I am now.

My sister and I looked through the "house building" photo albums the other day. Photos from the years I forgot I remembered. When I look around this house, this farm, sometimes I just see a list of things that need to be done. A list of fixes, a list of improvements, a long, long list. In those photos from 20-25 years ago, the floors are new where they're now worn. The paint on the front door is bright where it's now faded. But in the photos the yard is non-existent where it's now lush and green in the summer. We have tall trees in our yard, this former cornfield. We have fences and new roofs on the buildings and flowers and gardens and a woodshed... The list goes on.

I'm thinking about this now that the snow is gone, the ground is thawing, grass is greening, and my to-do list is growing. It's good to remember that changes sometimes happen slowly, both the improvements and disintegration, always forward.

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