Yesterday marked the beginning of the end of dignified walking. I awoke to a sharp pain in my pelvis as I swung my legs out of bed. It’s known in the pregnancy world as pelvic separation and is caused by a hormone known as “relaxin” (aptly named) which makes the ligaments in the pelvic girdle all loosey-goosey. It means that when my legs aren’t moved in symmetry (which is, unfortunately, most always), there is sharp pain from the instability in the pelvis. Hello, waddle. Or even funnier, if I scoot sideways like I’m country line dancing there is great relief. Feel free to laugh at that image.
I’d love to be attending to my gardens, but I simply can’t. I need to prepare a blueberry bed by digging-in white pine needles to raise the acidity. I need to dig up my elephant ear bulbs before first frost. I need to prune my nectarine and apple trees. I need to dig out a tree sapling that pretended to be part of the grapevine. I need to prune back the raspberry and blackberry vines that fruited this year. There are potatoes to dig, there are weeds to pull, and there is an unstable pelvis saying “no”.
So, I ordered a pelvic support belt yesterday morning while chair-bound. Yes, I am going to be actually manually pulling myself together. Until that blessed relief arrives, my creative endeavors are limited to what can be accomplished sitting.
I had to wonder last evening, as I lay in bed with my pregnant belly covered in bits and pieces of whole cloves, how many husbands go to sleep with their wives beside them making pomanders. Round and round the orange the cloves marched in staid procession, each puncture releasing a waft of orange scent. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while; making these early American fragrant Christmas decorations, but had never gotten around to it.
“It’s amazing how strong that smells,” said my dear husband as I poked cloves into the orange.
“Yeah, and it’s supposed to still be fragrant for years if it dries nicely. I’ve wanted to make these for a long time”. I poked in more cloves and the thought came quick: there are so many things I want to make. I looked at my husband. “What do you want to make?”
He looked puzzled. “You know, like Tom really wants to make a wood canoe?”
“Yeah…I just don’t really have anything I want to make.”
How very different we are. I have a list a mile long: paper kites, red ware pottery, tinctures of all sorts, hundreds of soaps, handmade papers, chair caning, basket weaving, mosaics, etc. I want to learn how to do everything. Which is why I was poking an orange with cloves at ten at night while he enjoyed some peaceful, well-deserved, rest
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us– yes, establish the work of our hands.” -Psalm 90:17
I find great satisfaction in making things, whether it be pie dough massing between my hands or cutting thick bars of soap or stringing a batch of words together. It all brings me joy; the disparate parts becoming a new whole, a useful thing, a thing of beauty.
While not everyone has this impulse, or, ahem, compulsion, to create, I hope that each does have that deep satisfaction in their work. For my husband it is taking boxes of fittings and lengths of pipe and with them providing clean drinking water and waste removal to countless homes and businesses. Ever thought of how much of a blessing it is to be able to flush away waste? To be able to shower in fresh water to your precise temperature preference?
I imagine the particular joy of an accountant, having all the numbers tabulated, filed, and organized. I picture the satisfaction of a surgeon, having implanted a new organ in the place of a failing one and seeing it come to life. And the farmer seeing his hay stacked high in the barn and the nanny soothing the baby to sleep in her arms and the grocery bagger slipping the last tidily filled bag into a cart. Do we see our work as a blessing, as a joy?
I hope you do.
Even if you have to walk sideways or endure any other number of impediments or hardships. I hope this day that you can feel the satisfaction of work done well.