Yesterday was a strange mixture of joy and trauma.
Got up and volunteered at the North Mankato Triathlon with my friend Barb. We had fun, cheered on the cyclists (many of them good friends) from our appointed spot on Judson Bottom Road, and then I went to the finish and saw lots more friends I hadn't even recognized as they zipped past us in their aero tucks.
It made me miss running, but made me glad that I can ride hard and sometimes fast.
Wrote for awhile, and then mowed and trimmed and weed-ate and had an idea for one of my characters, so I sat down at the kitchen table and wrote some more.
I was putting everything away, all cleaned up, and when I pulled the garage door shut, a big piece of the door fell off (the door is old and has been falling apart since I bought the place), and one big window came crashing out, and splintered into a million pieces on the cement. There I stood, surrounded by glass.
Here's where balance comes in: I can be disgruntled by the broken door (which I am), I can be frustrated by the mess of broken glass (which I am), because I'm tired from all the mowing and trimming, or I can be happy that the glass shooting out of the door in a sheet didn't hit me in the jugular or the shin or even a toe. I can be glad one pane of glass is still hanging there, to be removed without shattering. I can be glad Freya was up by the deck, watching. I can be highly irritated that the slivers of glass even bounced into her wading pool (because they did) and that I need to clean about 32 square feet of glass shards (which I do) or I can be grateful that Freya is pooped, too, and is showing no interest in trying to get into her wading pool at this moment (which she could be doing). I can also be irritated that now I can't close what's left of the door (which I am), or I can assess it (which I do) and climb up to figure out a way to get it to stay in its tracks so I can shut enough to keep most animals out over night (which I do and which takes some careful figuring and a big of hammering and longer than I had anticipated but it works).
Here's the balance: it's easy to fly off the handle (which I do often enough), but when I'm all alone at my own home and some small disaster like this happens, I know I have reliable Tom whom I can call, who can fix anything. OR I can look at the problem and figure out my own solution. After all, it was my own choice to buy an old farm place and live here alone with my dog. I'm not stupid. I can figure stuff out if I don't get too frustrated and just take time to look at how things work. And it feels good in the long run to feel somewhat or mostly self-reliant.
I closed the garage door, and when I turned around, fireflies filled the corn field. It seemed as if they turned their lights on while I was messing with the garage door, as if to say, see, even in the disasters, there's beauty when you look for it. Now, a garage door drama is not much of a disaster. It's small in the scope of the world's pain. SMALL. But when stuff like that happens, it's our world. It's what we're doing at the moment and it feels big. It's good to remember that it's not.
So as I tried to snap a picture of the sunset (and this is what I got), I thought about how the key is always to do what you're doing, even when it's an interruption, and not always what you want to be doing--it's what is right in front of you at this moment, and if you focus on that task, you live in the present, and that's what makes life a good place to live.