I’ve never learned the lesson of moderation in spite of the fact that I often quote and profess to the philosophy which espouses the “Buddha’s Noble Middle Path”.  Somehow it’s just not in my gene pool.  I tend to embrace favorite spectrums of life with intensity and passion and impatient doggedness to boot.  So naturally, if there is a task at hand, I madly plunge ahead determined to reach the end goal without even a breather.  And that tendency all came home with a vengeance last night after two days of over indulgence in the moving-in ritual.  Uff Dah!  My body is screaming at me today.

But we took a long drive around Battle Lake and Otter Tail Lake (the largest in the county of many, many, many lakes) and reveled in the lovely, rolling green of the terrain and regaled in our good fortune to land in such a wondrous spot, and came home renewed and re-invigorated.

It still seems something of a daunting task to imagine ever actually getting settled here.  So much to do.  There are no easy solutions.  Every room needs re-wiring and cupboard building and furniture that will “fit”, not to mention paint.  And some rooms  are even in dire need of wall-busting reconstruction. In particular the kitchen, which makes life especially unhandy.  That is not to say that we are displeased with the house.  It actually feels more like a home we like every day in spite of the upheaval. If I close my eyes and start to imagine what it could be and will become, I am even endeared.

But there IS the mess and I am not good with messes.

That is why I am so grateful to the Oxalis.  It came to us years ago – maybe 15 – from our friend Trudy who had treasured this little houseplant so much that they took it with them as an adornment and bit of greenery in their motor home as they traveled around the country.  She loved to tell the story of how, in coming back from Mexico on one trip, they realized that they couldn’t take a plant back across the border when they returned to this country.  And panicking, Trudy quickly dumped out the dirt and washed it out in their camper’s sink and put it in a strainer because she realized that the roots looked like sprouts that you add to a salad. It passed!  And as soon as they were free and clear she stopped at the first market and bought some potting soil and the little trooper revived and re-grew in no time.

An Oxalis takes a number of forms in the plant world, but most familiar is the common clover that often plagues our lawns or the lucky Shamrock or four-leaf-clover of legend, or the Redwood Sorrel we so love in California when it spreads a lustrous green blanket  beneath the trees.

When we moved from northern California some years ago Trudy  gave us her Oxalis as a going away gift – a gift that was definitely from the heart given the history.  Robert took it upon himself to nurture and care for it and my son Kevin painted a pot that it has lived in ever since.  So when we were ready to move this time, with nearly of week of driving in an overloaded van, it seemed problematic at best.  But Robert decided to try Trudy’s trick and he dumped out the soil and washed it off and put it in a zip lock bag which ended up somewhere or other jammed in with a mountain of suitcases and futons and pruning shears and tomato cages (which the movers forgot!) and Cosmo’s box and every manner of flotsam and jetsam.

It must have been a week later after our arrival that we discovered the small plastic bag of indescribable muck, which did indeed resemble dirty sprouts, but Robert found it’s pot and added some soil and put it in the window.

I must admit I had my doubts.  After all it wasn’t just across the border.  It was across many borders and many miles and even many days.  I hoped for the best, but I was prepared for the worst.  And then, of course, we just plunged into the unpacking and I even forgot about the little Oxalis.

Until today.


Silently under the soil, all this time, it was regenerating and growing and getting ready to burst into a new life.  But in “plant life” it took it’s time.  All in good time.  The Buddha’s Noble Middle Path.

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