Laboring Day.

Since I was a boy, yard work has been a source of both complaint and satisfaction. If I owed my parents money, you can bet that my outstanding debt was converted into trees/shrubs that needed to be moved, brush that needed clearing, drains that needed to be dug, or the like. The work grew into a labor of love, as it became a source of pride. I landscaped neighbors’ houses, maintained baseball fields and parks, but no project has ever belonged to me- until this past weekend.

When I bought my house, I recognized that my fjord of a backyard was a major eyesore that could be transformed into an attractive selling feature with a good bit of sweat and planning.

With Afsi’s urging, and a healthy shove by both of our mothers, Labor Day 2013 was set aside to be a Labor Weekend in Georgia.

In my recent studies of Buddhism, (see our plans to Thailand!), I’ve run across the following in the Pali Canon:

Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, and comrades, he can be expected to develop and pursue the noble eightfold path.

You could say that I took a step toward Enlightenment this weekend. I could not be more thankful for the outpouring of volunteers that gave up their weekend in favor of the break-breaking task at hand. I had an Engineer to design the retaining walls, a Pilot leveling the blocks, a Genius digging out the slope, an Executive moving dirt, a Banker and a Beauty stacking blocks, a Salesman wheelbarrow-ing blocks, and a fully staffed kitchen preparing every meal for the crew.

Collectively, my backyard amassed the IQ of the Manhattan Project, all sweating toward the goal of
turning my cliffside estate into a relaxing, terraced retreat. As a result, in 3 days, we were able to accomplish:

-with limited dirt and poor weather.
Additional dirt to fill in between the walls.

STILL not enough dirt.
Holding back the soil until I can complete filling in between the walls.
We ate like kings and celebrated good company, while the doors were painted like new and my basement received much-needed attention (as well as a new thermostat). I consider myself a very blessed person to have the support of family and friends who are “admirable” indeed.