Tag Archives: Benedictine

Lessons Learned?

My wife met this really nice guy named Orlando when she was looking for someone to tile our house a couple of years ago. Orlando doesn’t actually do much of the work personally he is more of a facilitator/translator for talented craftsmen in the Mexican-American community here. Everyone he has brought over to do work for us has been in the country legally, highly experienced, and doing side work to keep their family afloat while waiting for “the big jobs” to get going again. Orlando and a nice young guy named Benny had been busting out the floor in the bathrooms at the Clayton Annex when my sweety Karen asked him if he could poor a new porch slab in front of the house at The Fruity Chicken. To look at the job we had to go through the gate I cut in the fence between the two properties and right into my Orchard/Garden/Chicken Yard complex, as soon as Orlando stepped through he placed his hands over his heart and in an emotional voice “This reminds me of home, it is just like Mexico!” Whereas Orlando’s sincerity touched me, My sweety went right on the offensive and hissed in my ear “see I told you that you needed to clean this place up!” That incident made me realize that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, where Orlando saw something that reminded him of his semi agrarian upbringing in Mexico, and I see the miracle of sustainability and productivity in the making, Karen sees the weeds, cardboard, tools, loose straw, wood chips, and various other clutter. All three of us were looking at the same thing but from different perspectives and there was truth in what each of us saw. When my oldest son, Michael, married his beautiful bride, Erin, the officiant was an amazing man who is a Benedictine Monk. The order he belongs to, The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict, preach or maybe more correctly live a philosophy of nonduality. In a nutshell nonduality is the concept that things may seem distinct while not being separate. A small part of my weekend I devoted to embracing this concept I find fascinating and applying it to the differing perspectives Karen and I have of my little piece of Heaven.

My new tomato trellis

My new tomato trellis

 

The legs were rusted off just enough on one end to make it set level

The legs were rusted off just enough on one end to make it set level

While I’m sure most people will only see a creative use for an old swing set, I see a feature that just might make my one true angel want to spend a little more time in my little piece of Heaven. Karen had stopped us from throwing this out so that we could “do something in the garden” with it. She had even mentioned using it as a trellis, but it wasn’t until I really thought about how she sees our garden that things clicked. No matter what my vision was all Karen was seeing was my mess. I know I refer to The Fruity Chicken possessively but I truly want it to be “our” place and it made me feel good to see the twinkle in Karen’s eye when I showed her the new trellis.

 

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