Visions of Landscaping Dance in Our Heads

It is our third summer in our home on the swake and I am becoming agitated by the slow pace that seems to govern the landscaping activity.  Kanti's kennel has shifted in my perception from being the Taj Mahal of dog homes to being an eyesore because it still doesn't have a coat of paint that matches the house.  The heavy rains cause ravines in the driveway every time the heavens open, and the sandy rough-grade splatters up against the lower windows.  I have a vision for the landscaping and now it can't get done fast enough.  When I get truly discouraged I let fly with one of those exasperated questions,  "Are we are going to be moving to the old folks home before or after the landscaping is finished?"

Just as a point of reference, I don't expect to be anywhere near an old folks home for at least thirty years - maybe more.  My spouse stoically responds that all the projects will eventually get done.  Then he reminds me of the accomplishments we have made in the landscaping department and they are not to be derided; and he is right.  When you take on five acres it stands to reason that every landscaping task will be mega-sized and that the whole project might be more about a lesson in patience than speed.

Before the tasks could start we needed a vision of the end state, and I confess to having held up the visioning process for the first year.  I watched the sun and moon, rise and set to see the effects of light on the landscape.  We sat on the deck in the late afternoon talking about the perfect location for a shade tree.  Kanti's kennel was rearranged not once but three times, which was no small feat.  The rains fell and we marked the spots where we thought a swale would be effective.  We took the can of spray chalk and outlined future flowerbeds and retaining walls.  On Saturdays we wandered through yards that sold pre-made stackable blocks and yards full of boulders, contemplating the material that would make the perfect retaining wall.  We flip-flopped back and forth amazed that we could spend hours discussing a retaining wall.

The discussion was part of the creative process and the mechanism to check whether our visions were in sync.  We don't vision the same way so it was critical to have the discussions.  My landscaping vision is dancing in my head, a full on surround sound movie.  Greg doesn't get visions quite like that; his are constructed more methodically block by block in stages.  So my challenge now that the vision is roaring around in my imagination is to put it into words and blocks so he can make it a reality.  We still have the option of rearranging the pieces, of playing with ideas and imaginings.

Our imaginings involve a retaining wall of boulders.  It is official that the pre-made stackable blocks just won't fit our vision.  But once those boulders are delivered and put in place we won't be moving them in our lifetime so we have taken time to let the vision sit in our being.  This creative process is the same whether you are landscaping, making a quilt, or just living fully.  As my friend expresses, the  Best Laid Plans are those where you are willing to wait and be open to surprises.  Sometimes you need to be patient and let the ideas marinate a while so the vision becomes clear.  Other times you need to be fearless especially if you are gambling on great success.  We are gambling on boulders being the best retaining wall ever.  Boy, I hope we are right.