I love our home in Maine. One of my favorite things is to be snug in bed on a cold, rainy day, like today, warmed by the fireplace set between two windows, one facing the sea, the other the river. Who wouldn’t feel close to HaShem and inspired to write??!!
From my home office window on the other side of the house we face the cove and ocean as well, so I love to sit at my desk there with similar thoughts (when not working, of course.) On that side is our shared parking area with our neighbor who likes to park on the grassy part of that space which actually is intended to support cars even though it looks like a lawn. When we bought this property we fortified that area specifically to be able to support cars parking there (underground wire mesh and gravel) but we need to maintain it yearly with tamping and reseeding in order to deal with inevitable rut damage.
The last couple springs have presented challenges when scheduling this yard work since our neighbor has needed this area for her car due to improvements they have been making to their yard and driveway. The result is we have not been able to maintain it causing the area to have ever worsening ruts from her car tires. So lately, when I look out the window and see her car parked there, I get irritated. I have trouble appreciating the beautiful view and instead I tend to focus on the damage to our lawn from her tires. I find this very aggravating even though I have to go out of my way to even see this part of our lot since I don’t work from home as much and so am not often in my home office looking down at the driveway on that side of the house.
The truth is the problem isn’t my neighbor parking her car there. The problem is my head. We become such prisoners of our thoughts. Clearly my sense of emotional well being can be grateful, content, peaceful. All I have to do is look out 99% of the windows in case I need to be reminded of all that He has provided. Or I can fixate on that one view from my home office window and drag down my day.
I’m actually glad I’ve been troubled by this for it is HaShem’s way to teach. How often do we tend to focus on the problems and not the blessings? How often do we make mountains out of mole hills? How often do we even take the time to notice all that He has provided? Or we do appreciate but fixate on some small thing that has an amazing ability to drag us down in spite of all the good in our lives. When we live in a state of gratitude, how much we smile, how light our hearts.
Some things we can’t let go, but so often, the matters that we dig in on are petty, or revealing of something in us that needs improvement – our need to control, our loss of perspective of what’s really important in life, our focus on giving to others, our sense of gratitude.
As I look at the deep rain-filled ruts caused by my neighbor’s tires on our grassy lawn, I will look with new eyes of thankfulness at the many blessings and be happy that we can share with another in need. How peaceful the feeling to just let it go.