Thursday, November 5, 2009

What About Bob? What About You?

If you read my Oct. 10 story ,you know who Bob is or....was. Yes, a closer look at the lonely little tractor in the raised bed reveals Bob's absence. Yesterday prior to hiking I ran out to water the last of the green beans and a handful of beets. I threw a bucket of water on the beans and gasped, "Bob?" Assuming Bob's absence was a prank, I ran inside shouting, "911 - Bob's missing in action. Help. Help." I quickly sensed this wasn't a joke played by someone I knew at least.

I couldn't go hiking. What about Bob? Jerry of course says Bob will still be wherever he is upon our return. We drove to the trail while recounting our last remembrance of Bob and wondered whether he was 'missing in action' held hostage by a squirrel or raccoon desiring food for his release or being tortured as a means to gain access to his gardening wisdom. Worse yet what if he was AWOL, rebeling against my authority. I thought we had a pretty egalitarian relationship. Did Bob feel otherwise ?

The last time Bob and I really had a heart to heart was a couple of weeks ago. The garden was dying. The tomatoes vines were brown, the watermelons I planted late were the size of oranges and obviously not going to see maturity. We had just gone through our my mum-phase. I was bringing Bob in for winter when he said, "Leave me outside. I'll put the plants to bed. Grief's hard on you." This was Bob's way of saying let me take care of this outside stuff and you take care of the 'inside' stuff. Write about what shows up inside you as your first garden enters a new phase. Bob was faithful to his part of the agreement. I would see his tiny self under the green and brown remains of strawberries, okra, peppers and beans and smile although inside I felt melancholy. I was helpless to stop the cycle of death as the magical plants that had brought me such joy while teaching me life lessons were diminishing, gone.

With Bob's sudden disappearance I was jolted into remembering that I did none of the writing to which I had agreed. Had Bob struck a deal with a critter, asking it to cart him away to teach me a lesson? Loosing Bob reminded me of how quickly I loose myself , my insides and what makes me tick, my heart. I don't even know I'm lost.
By the time, I returned from the day's hike, dark had descended. So this morning early while still in my pajamas, I went out in search of Bob. Within minutes of digging in the leaves, I spotted his bright yellow hat and smiling face beneath the leaves.

"What an adventure," Bob said. "I wanted to see how nature acrtually does it, what it's like to be dynamically involved in the onoing process of one's self being altered into new form that would not be recognized by one's old form.
"You mean composting?" I asked.
He continued, "This is what one of the Shakespearen Henry's meant when he said, 'Presume not that I am the thing that I was.' Reminds me a bit of what the cocoon and butterfly explained earlier this summer."

"Whoa! You've been reading Shakespeare and taking anthropology classes without my knowing it?" I asked half angry and half happy. "You talked with a butterfly and caterpillar....without me?! You've no idea how upset I've been thinking you were MIA."
"Whoa, Sweetheart, if we want to talk 'missing in action' look no further than someone whose mastered being MIA in much of her own life. You know, I'm not into judgment. I'm just mindfully calling it like I see it."
I know Bob's right as he continues.

"You think I've been working out here all summer? Presence is best practiced with a balance of being and doing from a space of non-judging mindfulness. Remember I am Bob, your Buddhist gardening go-to guy. As for the butterfly and catterpillar, they only came to me because they couldn't get your attention." Now that I have your attention, take me inside. It's chilly out here.

I smile, the kind of smile one feels inside and out. Yes, Bob, I will take you and your lessons inside and from that place consider 'What about Me.......?" "What about YOU?
=from Dawn!, the Good News Muse & Bob 11/09

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