Each bag weighed forty pounds. When in the world did forty pounds start feeling like eighty? I used to be able to throw freshly baled hay into stacks back in the day, and trust me, green hay is heavy. Now I’m whimpering about forty pounds of dirt. Oh well. I had a full day of yard work ahead of me and the morning was waning. Seven bags of potting soil were stacked in the back of the vehicle and I was the only one home to move them. I duck-walked each bag to the garden by choke-holding the floppy load tightly to my chest. Feeling inspired by my muscular feat, I decided to keep going.
I tilled the garden—or annoyed the weeds—depending on one’s view. By time I finished, sweat beads were racing down my back (don’t ask where the finish line was), and my tee shirt felt painted to my body. I put away the tiller and started the lawn mower. An hour later the lawn was looking rather dandy, but I wasn’t. Little shards of grass were stuck to my lip gloss, a wood tick was hitchhiking up my arm, and bits of leaves were in my hair (I really, really, hope it was leaves). I smelled like gas fumes and hard salty work. I felt sore and thirsty, and there was chaffing involved. It was great.
Tonight, as I slowly ease my stiff back into a hot bath and savor a glass of cold white wine, I’m going to feel the accomplishments of the day. Sitting at a computer is an accomplishment too, but there’s something about honest labor exhaustion that feels righteous. I’m grubby to the point of disgusting, I’m tired, and I’m happy. Working my butt off was the best part of my day.