How is that one moment earlier in the day, I visited top of the world hearing news I've longed to receive for years, and then plummet to depths of suspicion and self doubt the very same evening?
I've been invited to particpate in a discussion on translating Catechesis of the Good Shepherd from it's original Catholic roots and Episcopalian expansion to include the protestant evangelical communities- something I've waited nine years to begin. What a joy for me.
Then in the evening I got a phonecall from the man who recently bought the forest adjoining our back acres who fussed at me because my children got too close for his comfort to the logging he's having done back there. He did not have the courtesy to call me about this dangerous project ahead of time, but I when I noticed trees falling in the distance, I immediately gathered my boys to define safety boundaries. Apparently one of my children visited side neighbors working the fields too close to the loggers while I was cooking dinner. The logging neighbor was irked enough to call about that incident and the "toys" my children left on his property. Mind you, before he bought the woods, my children built a fort in a piece of the forest they mistakingly thought was ours. Since his purchase, my children dismantled that fort, so there's nothing out there anymore. When I asked him "What toys?" he said "Milk jugs and such." Oh brother, he thinks my family totes trash to the fence line and thoughtlessly heaves it over.
I've never understood the three junky trash piles dumped on and beside our property when we moved in- we Crunchy cons (we're not really Crunchy Cons but darn close) drag our trash to the city dump regularly. We've cleared on of the piles completely. I wouldn't dream of scattering junk about our nor anyone's yard. Tator tells me there are tons of beer bottles, coke cans, rusty metal, milk jugs all strewn along our fence lines. When we put up our fence we cleaned what we found as we went. However, someone must be still dumping back there, and it's certainly not us.
After the phonecall, I hurrrummpphed at my children about getting too close to the logging and
grunted new orders to steer completely clear of the back forest for the next few weeks until the job is done. I stewed over false accusation and assumption. My mood changed from merry to sour on a dime.
There is a dark something in me that chides, "You should have known a chain saw is like a pied piper's whistle signaling boys and reminded your children on the hour about the dangers of logging.
You should be more on top of the trash spanning eight acres and beyond.
Why can't I extend kindness to this man instead of a defensive attitude?"
I called Buck at work and asked him to clean up my mess of less than generous conversation with this neighbor. Buck apologized for our children and hopefully clearly stated our position on avoiding the habit of littering as a lifestyle.
Anyone else find themselves at the mercy of others thoughts like I do? While I wish to remain vulnerable, I don't want to fall into fragility. I'd like to find that center point inside more quickly rather than be swayed by the blowing wind of outside forces. Some days it's easier to locate than others.
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