This spring my reliable, faithful lower back has started to complain. This at the most inconvenient of times--i want to turn over my 2 community garden 9 x 12 plots.
Pushing the garden fork into the clay-ey hard-pack soil with my left foot; perhaps jumping on the fork with both feet; wiggling it back and forth to sink its tines deeper into the earth; then bending to pry the heavy lump up and over. I zig-zag across the 9 foot width twice, then need to rest, or change my chore. I carry a bucket of leafy weeds (not yet gone to seed) to the compost, and return to the plot with a bucket of woodchips to refresh the path between plots.
"Why not rototill?" someone asks.
Do i dare say, "Because fat worms are dining on the top 3 inches of last year's manure coating of the garden"?
No matter the solution (Have someone else do it!), here is the inescapable fact: My body is aging. My lower back is growing old and achy. The Buddha said this is a subject for frequent reflection. Those low throbs are my reminders to be mindful.