My shameful secret


We returned to our home in the Northwoods after a year-long urban adventure and travel. There is comfort in a return to one’s old home and once-comfortable routines. “Hello, old friend, how have you been? It is so good to be back. I missed you so much!” Then, a sense of loss envelops you. Somewhat like trying to fall back in love anew with a husband of decades after a lust-driven affair with a gorgeous, new lover. You really love you husband but you miss the lover.


Like a sociopathic lover who lures you in and turns into an abusive, controlling husband, the trees I used to love had turned into a forest taking over the yard in under the guise of protecting my privacy. I also returned to a yard that had turned into a most beautiful meadow. Forget-me-nots, dandelions, and English daisies. Like a beautiful, voluptuous woman for whom rules don’t apply. Beautiful though my yard was, it was also mocking my neighbor’s manicured lawn and garden. But as we some of us know, people who like pretty women do not necessarily appreciate beautiful wild women. I even joked that my neighbor was probably be sticking needles into my likeness in the secret arbor in his garden. I hoped that that I could mow the lawn before the needle goes into my heart. Then, of course, as it must, my mower conspired and did not want to start. I was struggling with the ignition, pull, pull, pull, and nothing. I could see my neighbor looking at me from his perch on his fancy riding mower. I was getting flustered and contemplated running back inside and saving the mowing for another day. Or hiring someone else to do it.

That was when I saw my neighbor walk up to me. I was preparing myself to charm him with sheepish apologies before he started his lecture on city ordinances and neglected yards, but he shamed me by being kind. He fixed my lawn mower and made it run. And gave me recommendations on trimming my trees. On top of all that, he had the gall to share personal information like his recent diagnosis and treatment. I am not much of a ‘soup for the soul’ person, but shame drove me there. Life is strange.

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