Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2011

Contemplating Manual Labor

The body can’t know rest, unless it has first known work. Real work. Work that stings your eyes with sunscreen and salty sweat, that sends rivulets of muddy water down your shower drain, that transforms bottled water into sweet life-giving nectar, and knocks you out less than five minutes after your head hits the pillow.

This is the drumbeat of my summers. Early Saturday mornings with my CRV back seats laid flat to make room for shovels, digging bar, and grade rake. Hot tea in one hand with my other on the wheel; Phil shifts for me. At Granada someone brings donuts, usually Tim White or Bob Miller, and I always try to eat one, never learning from all my past donut-eats that when I’m half-way through, I ask myself why did I take one of these horrible rings of sugary dough.

I lace up my old hiking boots, the ones that hiked 2/3 of the John Muir trail ten years ago. The toes are scuffed to a lighter shade of brown, and if I lace them too tight, I give myself a welt on the ankle. They are…