How we do anything is how we do everything

Posted by on 07.16.07 | 2 Comments
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Boy is it hot here in Central Oregon. I don’t remember it being this hot, this early, this long, in my limited experience of 4 summers living here! We got almost no snow in Bend, Oregon this past winter, so the ground is dry and the plants are needing a lot of water to survive.

Maybe related to the dryness, or not, I have had a mouse in my house for the last week or so. I first noticed him (her?) one evening while sitting in my dining area. He did the 2-minute-mile-sprint across the doorway to behind the fridge. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, went to look, and he was panting, scared out of his mind in the far corner. Then when I turned my back, he ran under the stove. I talked to him and told him that this wasn’t a good arrangement, and that I didn’t mind him living on my porch, under the house, in the yard, but that, for a variety of reasons, co-habiting in my house wasn’t a good idea. I suggested that he find his way back outside the same way he came in. I then looked around the kitchen for ways to limit his food source. Then I just sort of forgot about him, knowing that the issue would either reappear or not.

Two days ago, the handy-guy that works around my house was using the power washer to clean off the back porch roof, and the noise must have startled the little guy–anyway, he again scurried where I could see him. So I knew I had to do something–my sweet-talk hadn’t done the trick. So I set the dreaded mouse-trap with peanut butter and put it in the utility room. He didn’t take the bait for over 24 hours. Then last evening I came home and he had had his last supper. I simultaneously felt regret and relief. Took the trap and his body outside and put it on the porch.

Today, I buried him in a tea towel, putting tobacco on his broken body, with prayers asking forgiveness and wishing god-speed for him and all the other little 4-leggeds.

As I was burying him, I was thinking about a session just last Thursday with my spiritual director. In the course of my babbling to him (my usual way of getting to the truth) I told him about transplanting some plants from my yard to a friend’s yard earlier in the week. I reiterated the ‘ju-ju’ prayer I whispered to the plants that went basically like this, “You’ve been a great plant in this yard, not aggressive, but very resilient. Here’s a new place to live, where you can thrive and have new adventures, if you care to do so. No pressure, just an opportunity.” My spiritual director, Steven, laughed, and then said, ‘Are you that kind to yourself?’ Something about the juxtaposition of his words on my experience of live-and-let-live to the plants, and my own hardness and expectations of myself, brought me immediately to tears of recognition.

Someone wise has said, ‘how we do anything is how we do everything’. While there’s a great opening of truth in this statement, in my experience, I’m not that consistent. I have treated the plants and the mouse-in-my-house with more understanding, lack of expectation, and acceptance than I almost always treat myself.

Here’s where it gets a little dicey. If I struggle to forgive myself for my lack of ease with myself, I am re-doubling the problem. The sense of ease and spaciousness that I want to have for myself and all my relations, is not something that I have to do, but rather is an un-doing.

Heavy sigh. I just want to bloom where I’m planted, not be a mouse in someone else’s house.

Anyone out there that struggles with any of this &*$@! ? Love to hear from youse!

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