on hauling mulch
on hauling mulch

on hauling mulch

Two weeks ago, hauling mulch back and forth from your neighbor’s yard, one small wheelbarrow at a time, afforded me the opportunity to work some things out.  I don’t mean reflect on it or problem solve it–I mean really work it OUT, out of

newly mulched area of farm

my head, out my body and even out of my pores.  Sweat dripping and arms aching, I pushed and pulled my wheelbarrow for three days (note to my PT:  not for three consecutive days) until wood chips blanketed the entire farm.  Thirty seven loads of mulch can really get you out of your head which was exactly what I needed.

I will be the first to admit that I can start ruminating on issues and have a hard time letting go.  I will look at a problem from all sides, and because I am a passionate person, feel a problem from all sides.  Needless to say, that keeps my mind burnin’ and my tummy churnin’ so two weeks ago when that started, I texted my neighbor, asked if I could borrow some mulch, grabbed the pitchfork and got to work.

The steady physical work required my mind and body to do more than just ruminate–it just plain wore me out!  While I love how yoga and stretching help me quiet the “monkey chatter” in my head, hauling mulch didn’t just quiet it, it

my favorite overalls

sweated it out of every last pore in my body.  Needless to say, I slept better too which always gives me a clearer perspective on life.

So yes, I was sore, and yes, my ice packs kept me company for a few days, but I tell you what:  next time I get stuck inside my head, you won’t find me worrying on the couch.  I’ll be the one in her overalls out hauling mulch.


  1. Working through the pain is something of a lost art. My husband tells me to slow down…typically when I really need to. If it weren’t for those few requests to slowdown I would be in a constant state of motion. Trim this, move this, rake this…that is me…when I am not moving furniture in the house!
    Peach State

    1. You are so right, Peach State. It took cancer and my 40th birthday in the same year to get me to appreciate what it means to “just be.” Slowing down is so important to our souls. Sometimes, however, just getting out there and sweating in the garden is just what I need to get out of my head so I can center myself. Just breathe, Peach State, but don’t give up the “lost art” of centering yourself.

  2. I got outside with my hoe and started getting the veggie bed ready for eventual planting yesterday for the first time this season. Yes, I am sore, but it is a much better kind of pain than the pain from sitting at the computer for too long. Was it Michael Pollan who said that if every American had a garden, the need for psychiatric care would be significantly reduced? It certainly helps get me out of my fretful head, anyway. Great post!

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