For ten days Jimmy labored, a man astride his tractor and often on foot, wielding a chain saw and ropes to take out trees and give me more space to plant. He did what I asked him to do, despite the fact that it took him more days than he’d planned. Oh, he did complain about his back, his neck, the challenge of the work. He moved stiffly, a seventy-year-old man with aches and pains.
But I didn’t ask him to clear out the huge pile of tree trunks, root balls, and limbs, left three years ago by the guy who cleared my home site. From the moment, however, that Jimmy saw that pile, he made it his mission—without announcing it to me—to eradicate that raggedy, rotting beast from my life. On several occasions, as he stood in the midst of his work, he’d turn to that pile and say, “That thing is just a mess. It sure does bother me.”
During the days he was here, he chipped away at the pile. He applied the giant blades of his bush hog and ground some of it up. He used his chain saw to cut some of the logs. What he could not grind and chose not to cut, he caught with a rope and hauled off into the woods, where, he assured me, they would “de-pose”. I’d lean over the fence, and say, “Jimmy, it’s wonderful to have that pile disappearing, but I want be sure you’ll get those trees down,” and I’d point to the left, to the right, straight ahead.
“Oh, yeah,” he said, “I’ll take care of those.” And he did. This man, an odd sort of an angel, gave me a gift—doing much much more than I’d asked. And I am ashamed to say, I misjudged him—a man born and bred in the country, a man who did not know to say “decompose”, had within a touch of Picasso, a hint of Monet. He not only cleared that blight of a pile, but he artfully left some trees and cleared others to make me a beautiful playground for planting and planning and dreaming. Artists and angels appear in all forms.
Ellen Hamilton on March 26th, 2014 | File Under Ellen Hamilton | 3 Comments -