Shifting dirt

home sweet home via

Outside, the back yard is a hive of activity. Flashes of orange and yellow construction vehicles jerk past my window, and I sit transfixed by the controlled chaos. My yard is a wasteland of dirt and mess, but every day I see a little more progress. The men arrive in the morning, cigarettes dangling from their lips, and they leave exhausted, streaked with dirt and sweat, taking one last puff on a ciggie. I wonder if they go home patting themselves on their bent backs for a job well done, or if they simple sink into bed, all of their energy left sitting on the dirt in my back yard.

Some days it looks like no work is done despite the frenzy of activity and the cavalcade of trucks. It looks like they shift dirt from one pile to another. But slowly, this project takes shape and I begin to see the form emerging from the mud. I have a drawing of the predicted end result, and it takes the foresight of a prophet to see how these hills of dirt and stone will rise up and become the ink and paper vision.

Someone told me recently that we need to discuss my twenty year vision. (For my life, not my back yard) And I’ve never been more sure of what I want the end result to look like, I can see it in my mind’s eye as clear as an architect’s final draft on paper. What I can’t see, is how I will get there. I feel like I’m shifting piles of dirt from one place to another without visible signs of progress, without the form rising up from the dirt, taking shape. It’s frustrating. I’m no prophetess, and I don’t know if the vision will come to pass.

In my head, I know I need to put one foot in front of the other, do the work, inch forward towards the goal. But in my heart, I wonder if the draft papers need revising. How do you know when it’s time to adjust the vision, or when it’s time to dig deep and leave all of yourself sitting out on a heap of hard work?

The truck pulls up. The men stumble out. They look tired before the day begins, cigarettes lit, tools in hand. They’re ready to move some dirt.


  • Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk

    Really hard questions, Kimberly. My husband and I were just talking about this the other night, I can’t see five years down the road except for a few shadowy threads. I’ve lost a little of my faith in the future, which I’m trying to see may be something more than nihilism, may be something more like a good thing or at least somewhat biblical (don’t fret about tomorrow!). NOW is just looming really large for me right now and I’m working at trusting that the seeds of the future are here.