Some days ago -after a heavy rainfall – I was busy around our Oaktree House. There are a lot of Things-To-Do. Even after you have done away with all these remaining Oakleafs, Beechnuts, Litlle Branches and all other kinds of Garden Caboodle our Mountaintree-Paradise has to offer us. You need lots of energy to start again and see it through. But I do not complain, for it really is a deep pleasure. This practical cultivation of our outdoor premisses. It is a gratefull kind of stewardship in service of our Silent Oaktree, which oversees these daily garden scenes with a mossy smile and a slight rustling of its leaves. Sometimes dropping some extra’s to keep us brooming in good spirits.
In between the heavier chores, you can pause, meditate or alternate to some other task waiting for your attention. For instance the spreading of new basalt grit around our small Hut up in the wood. To carry the fresh load upwards I needed a bucket. I wondered where I might have left that Thing last time I used it. Slowly remembering that I had filled it with rainwater during the heat. Our roses had been sighing from thirst. So I went to the waterbutt where I had left it to fill it anew.
As I found the green plastic kitchen bucket near the rainwater basin, I looked in it and saw something very strange. Due to the recent rainfall it had filled with a small layer of water. And in there some creature was swimming around in great turns along the steep sides. Making desperate rounds at greet speed. Oh Gosh, I thought, how long have you been trampling down there already. Trying to get some upward grip to find a way out of your undesired summer bath.
Soon I recognized a young Mouse in this strange tailored creature. In a flash I lifted up the bucket and gently poured it out over the uphill backyard soil. And there she sat: a soaked, shivering little Mouse. We have a lot of them around the house and in the wood yard. Shocked, exhausted and heavily breathing, as if she still had to run&swim&fight for her survival. Perhaps you need some warm cover, I thought and went inside to pick a dry old cloth for that Shivering Creature.
As I came back she had not moved from its landing place. I tried to cover her with the kitchen rag carefully. But on being touched shet jumped away, higher up and turned half around. Now she was sitting on safe grounds under the protection of a leaf of one of the many anonymous plants growing on the hillside. There she sat, stunned over all these unbelievable happenings, still speedily breathing and looking to me: Whats Happening Here…?
Then, suddenly she jumped aside and disappeared into the ground. Apparently in a hole so small I had not noticed it. Safe now in one of the many tunnels its family has digged out all through the mountain soil. I could smile about this happy ending, telling again that “All shall be well. And All will be well. And – as Juliana von Norwich says – All manner of things will be well”. At least I have learned that I will never more leave an empty bucket downside up without a stick or small branch in it. After all, for us creatures it seems better to learn to climb out of a steep pit than to trample around in circles down there at its watery bottom.