Rust and Shine
Updated: Jan 30, 2022
Eventually you will need to act in the way of your ancestors. Moving slower and firmer and closer to the ground. Carrying a cadence of one who needs to work the day through to simply continue on. It may be strange and foreign at first. Or it may seem as if you have tapped into the collective history of all of us right where the ancients left off last. Wielding a pitchfork and raising dirty hands as long as the daylight allows. Lifting limbs and pulling vines. Cleaning the soot from a hearth and clearing debris from the land as the leaves fall to the ground around you.
And you will be as unsophisticated as a donkey. You will sweat and tire and slow down. Your skin will feel the approaching cold less because you will feel the burning strength of your arms more. You will become aware of your posture and how you are carrying the weight. The burden of the physical forces will challenge you to reprioritize your ruminations.
And you will be better for it.
Because you are not so far away from the ancients, from the ancestors, or from the kingdom of the animals. You belong to people. And people are pulled by forces of moon and sun and seasons and storms and rhythms established long before your day. In the moment when you prop yourself up with the splintered end of a shovel, the handle burnished by many hands over much time, the toil of the day you will teach you what matters and what absolutely does not.
It is good for you to know this.
It is good to know that the forces that have existed long before your first cry churn quietly around you still. That the things you touch will wash away in the sands of time and that the shoes you wear today might get discarded and then pushed and changed by water of a deep and wide river only to emerge on a shoreline as a piece of rotted and rusted and fossilized leather. And that that is ok. Fine even.
The rhythm of the work at hand will put a steady finger on the mouth of your innermost thoughts.
And as the steady pulse of blood pumping your innermost workings quiets the noise in the space between your ears - you will be too consumed in the labor to pay much mind to your mind.
Push, pull, lift the pitchfork, push, pull, lift the pitchfork, carry away, carry away.
The likes of us only get so many sunrises and sunsets. A finite amount of autumns and harvests with crackling leaves and whispers in between the tallest of forest dwelling giants. There will only be so many campfires of stolen driftwood. Only so many days by the fire. Numbered are the nights when you will drink good wine in good company and in good times.
So shake off those calcified perceptions. The things you thought you needed to chase. The shoreline is littered with things that used to shine. The deep horizon is now awash with the things of the past. Smooth bottle fragments tumbled through the ages and rusting mysteries returning to the elements. Back to nature. Back and back again.
Daylight is fading earlier now. It is time to turn and face the questions. Are you made of coincidence or are you shaped by miracles? Are we a careless accident? Or the meaningful lineage of a thousand mothers and fathers falling in line to get us here to this place and time? Is this life to be treated as happenstance? Or are you a human eclipse?
Rest a spell.
And wonder this:
If nothing lasts - what do you want to build anyway?
What is calling your name?
Before it’s rust it could be glory and shine.
It could really be something.
The ancestors whisper.
It’s only a matter of time.