Every morning I open the curtains and look out on the front garden. It gives me the greatest pleasure to see the changes through the seasons. This year has been no exception. In the space of two and a half months I have seen the cold grey of winter with leafless branches on trees and shrubs slowly change in preparation for the warmer days of spring. On three occasions during this winter, I have looked out on white rooftops, a white ice or snow covering on the ground and a hoar frost, which has hung in the air. It has been so, so cold with ice and minus freezing temperatures. It did my soul good to see the golden yellow of aconite bulbs, followed by clumps of beautiful white snowdrops, then a colourful array of crocuses and the beginning of the daffodil display. Opening the window, I could hear the robins, the twittering of the bluetits and see blackbirds, dunnocks and tiny wrens scratching amongst the leaves under the bushes. All positive signs that winter was on the retreat, that is until snow, frost and ice reappeared again this week.
Two weeks ago, to my dismay, there in front of me in the middle of the fence garden was that tell-tale mound of upturned earth. The mole had returned far, far earlier than last year’s appearance in June! The mole run starts opposite my window and ends at the end of the drive with another, much larger mound of earth. Now this mole’s home territory is the small green in front of my bungalow which, at the end of the summer, will have several more molehills. How I wish that he would keep to the green side of the fence and not tunnel under it to pop up in my garden.
Do you find yourself in the position where you’ve planned your time – something you would like to do without any interruptions? Things are going really well until the doorbell or the telephone rings, or someone ventures in to remind you of something you should be doing or have forgotten about. From somewhere deep within the joy is taken out of your planned activity or non-activity. It is very tempting at this point to show our annoyance, irritation, frustration, or to cover up what’s going on inside you with a rather congenial reply where nobody but yours truly knows the real reaction to the unwelcome intrusion.
The intruder into my space, that is the mole, has no idea what I feel about him. It is my problem because he feels that he has the right to tunnel and pop his head up where he wishes. Perhaps this year I’ll just leave him be because last year’s attempts to deter him in my garden never worked.
I can fully see the humorous side of this situation with the mole and myself. After all, it’s my garden and, unless he creates absolute havoc, I might as well let him be. The reality is that sometimes we find ourselves facing unexpected situations, conversations or people who put us under pressure. We can frantically try to resolve a situation, handle a conversation or people in a way that adds to the difficulty or pressure. In other words, we can let ourselves down because we are not still or wise enough to handle the unexpected. We have been caught off-guard. Two little sayings come to mind, ‘Silence is golden, speech is silver’ and ‘a soft answer turneth away wrath’.
Unless Mr Mole changes his route and leaves my garden alone he and I (as tiny as he is) will have a battleground until next winter when he goes underground. Responsibilities, plans and people can often become too much, but they do give us the opportunity to grow in sensitivity, wisdom and stature while we in turn learn much about ourselves. The spring will come to stay. Hopefully there will not be a drought this summer and in this year there will be good things to enjoy and look back on. I write this as an encouragement, keeping in mind that there are many tragic situations in the world today. Everyday we are given opportunities to handle ourselves well no matter what intrusion comes our way.