Everything is happening exactly on schedule, exactly as planned. A happy walk through the woods shows me that things are just as they should be. I knew these lady slippers would be appearing soon because they were on the schedule, and sure enough, here they are. They were once an abundant flower but are now becoming rare. In some states, it is even illegal to pick them. I’m glad they’re still on the schedule.
|The elusive lady slippers.|
And the greenery! Yes, that is right on schedule, too. For so very long everything was frozen and the world was locked in rock-hard ice and covered with a deep layer of snow. Of course, that was on the schedule, so it had to happen, but then the schedule changed as it always does. Now it’s on to greenery and flowers and insects. Yes, many insects. The black flies always manage to find their way into a large chunk of the spring schedule. Persistent little fellows.
The spring runoff from all the rain and melting snow was abundantly on the schedule this year and provided an ideal breeding ground for the Maine state bird, also known as the mosquito. Ahhh, I couldn’t resist saying that! But it’s true. The swampy areas are just as they should be this time of year, and we are not disappointed by what they bring us—irritated, perhaps, but not disappointed.
The animals are right on schedule too, and everything is going off like clockwork (which, of course, it is clockwork). There are babies everywhere I look. Eggshells litter the forest floor, tossed out of the nest by ever-clean mama who cares for her new little birds. The fawns are being born now, and I saw a family of five deer in a thicket. They were afraid of me, and when I told them not to worry, they ran away.
I saw a tiny baby squirrel fall out of a very high branch in a tree. Miraculously, he was okay, just a little startled and confused. Within 15 seconds his mother came bounding down the tree, scooped him up, and carried him back up to their little home. She probably didn’t have to spank him because he'd already gotten his punishment for not listening about being careful on the branch. I think I heard her say, “Now do you see what I’m saying to you, young man??” He squeaked weakly back at her. Squirrels squeak a lot.
All of the mothers are busy being good mothers, and they’re doing everything right on schedule, as they always do. They have a lot of work to do, so much work! They keep their nests clean and tidy so that the babies stay healthy. They forage for a lot of food, and they know which kind of food to bring if a baby isn’t feeling well. They chop the food up finely for the little ones and teach them how to eat. They teach them how to walk and play and jump and run. They teach them how to find their own food and build their own nests so that they will be good parents too, when the schedule calls for it.
They never complain about the work—ever. They never shirk their duties. They never “blow off” their responsibilities. They never ignore their babies. They never protest. They never become angry, unless you are foolish enough to play too far out on a branch and you fall flat on your behind. But even then it doesn’t last long, and you certainly deserve a sore bottom in that case. They are ever vigilant and always careful. They make mistakes, of course, but they fix them right away. And they are always on guard.
Until very recently, all humans were like this, too. Many still are, of course, but a great many more seem to have forgotten. Somehow they lost the schedule, and then they forgot all about it. Or it could be that some became petulant with the schedule and decided that they would no longer follow it. They don’t know that the schedule rolls on ever forward and whether they like it or not, whether they acknowledge it or not, they will reap what they sow. That is the wonderful thing about the schedule. Unless, of course, you sow nothing.
There are a great many people walking around today sowing nothing. They are not learning and growing. They are not preparing for the future. They are not tending to and teaching their young. They live in squalor and chaos. They have chosen to forsake the very thing that guarantees them comfort, joy, and a life lived in peace and love. What an odd bunch of forest creatures has man become.
But the schedule still rolls on, keeping time to the exact second. We cannot see its inner mechanisms and we cannot know exactly which day a certain thing will occur, but we can feel it. We can know it in our bones. We can do what we are supposed to do because that will bring the abundance of the schedule. We can do the busy work, the tedious work, the thankless work, the boring work. We can do all of this because it is on the schedule, and whether we like it or not, it is important to do it. In fact, it is perilous not to do it.
Put your house in order. Remove all clutter and garbage. Clean all floors and surfaces. Wash all laundry. Have a place for everything and everything in its place—everything. Let your kitchens and bathrooms gleam brightly from your hard work so that you and your family may stay clean and healthy and productive. Do not complain. Do not shirk your duties. Do no task with resentment, but instead realize the necessity for every task, no matter how menial.
We must do these things. We are on a schedule, and if we do not keep the schedule and do not sow when we are supposed to sow (which we cannot do if everything is in chaos), then we will not reap what could and should be ours. We must embrace the schedule and teach it to our children. Over and over, we must give them the rhythm of life so that the schedule grows into their bones again, as it used to do for all humans. Everything happens in its season, and the schedule waits for no one.