I spent a long day yesterday preparing and painting the wall around my garden. When we arrived here the wall had an homemade ball on each pedestal part of the wall. They were all of differing sizes and far from achieving the desired effect. The lower part of the wall had been painted in what could only redescribed as an off yellow. Every time I saw this wall I knew I was going to have to do something about it.
It took me the whole day and even now I am hoping for another dry day to complete the work. It is now a shade of light grey. The cement paint that I used was called textured pebble. I think it is a great improvement but then I am of course biased.
The fact that I spent the whole day working with paint called pebble reminded me of the lovely story of the merchant his daughter and the moneylender.
Many years ago in a small town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant's beautiful daughter, so he proposed a bargain.
He said he would forgo the merchant's debt if he could marry the daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.
The moneylender then told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The daughter would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender's wife and her father's debt would be forgiven.
If she picked the white pebble, she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven. But, if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.
They were standing on a pebble-strewn path in the merchant's garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag.
The girl put her hand into the bag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles. "Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."
Sometimes it is necessary to think out of the box or, in this case, out of the bag. So often we get ourselves all tied in knots over something that is worrying us. We cannot see a way past the problem. We can have sleepless night and restless days.
The longer this goes on the more complex the solution seems.
So often the very fact of worrying is what blinds us to what can be an easy solution. It is a simple fact of life that worrying never aids clear thinking and never solves a problem.
It is so easy to reach the point where iy is possible to be worried about why you have nothing to worry about.