Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.
~ Dr. Seuss (The Lorax)
My backyard is about 70% weeds, the remaining being a mix of scattered dirt and grass, with the odd shrub and vine creeping over from the neighbour's yard in a valiant attempt to improve a rather dismal situation. As for the front yard, well, there are fewer weeds, and a lot less grass, giving it a distribution of about 70% dirt. A few chunks of groundcover, as well as a rather unfortunate (in that it had the misfortune of being transplanted into our yard) rose bush have succeeded in knocking the dirt percentage down about 10%.
It's quite the sight really, but not in a good way.
Every day, or almost every day, for the past several weeks, I've been trying to get this landscaping situation under control. I water the plants, I pull some weeds, I rake up debris. I water the plants, I pull some weeds, I rake up debris. Sometimes I chat with the plants, maybe sing a tune, doing my best to encourage them even though I possess no inherent gardening skills whatsoever. Or singing skills, for that matter. Chatting, though? If chatter were all they needed I'd have a rainforest on my hands. But, I digress.
Sometimes, while I'm filling bags with weeds or clearing fallen leaves away from my new groundcover, I feel really good about the progress I'm making. Every weed I pull is one less weed, every day I remember to water is one more day without killing something. I like that E sees me taking care of our home and gets interested in it herself. I like knowing that I've decided to do something productive with my time that will have lasting impact.
Other times, though, particularly when I take a look at the big picture, it starts to feel pretty futile. The front yard is still primarily dirt. The backyard is still primarily weeds. They both look pretty terrible, and it will be a long, long time, even with daily weeding and watering, before either of them will be something I'm not terribly embarrassed about.
And it occurs to me that my gardening is drawing great parallels with life.
And so I get back out there, and I weed. And I water. And one weekend, I bring my whole family and we work together and we put down grass seed. And we water. And we wait. And we feel good, not because it looks perfect or even good, but because it looks promising.