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Years ago we had a picket fence built around our back property line, it totals 190 feet in length, 110 feet across the back and 40 feet up each side.

I painted it.

It was in September 1998 that I took on that task which I thought would take… well I didn’t know how long it would take but I sure didn’t think it would take as long as it did… fifty plus hours! Probably closer to sixty.

You learn the rhythm of your environment when you spend that much time sitting, standing, bending and lying around outside. There’s a pattern to natures activity and neighbors activity.

I don’t recall exactly what day I started, most likely it was a Saturday and I was going to get it done that weekend. I just remember after spending a whole day outside painting and realizing that there’s a lot more to painting a fence than a flat side like a wall, there’s all the sides to each slat that are only a half inch wide and the rails… which the bottom one is only about six inches off the ground (that’s the lying around part, no I wasn’t resting).

Twelve years ago there happened to be a week of perfect whether following that weekend attempt that I took off from work to become one with the fence, what first appeared to be a major toil of misery soon became one of my most memorable meditative exercises.

I could of either fought every moment of the experience thinking of all the other things I should be / would rather be doing or go with the flow (pun intended).

We just added about fifty feet bringing one side of the fence up to the house, I spent about sixteen hours last Saturday, Sunday and Monday between intermittent rain painting that portion. We’re in the middle of a week of perfect weather like it was twelve years ago… I’m currently about twenty hours into painting the old part. Future blog entries may be about the sounds, smells and sights of my journey… I’m soaking it up (pun intended).

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One Comment

  1. Hey, you might as well make it a zen thing. And a pun thinking up opportunity!


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