Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

The empty lot behind my house is generally completely overgrown with blackberry vines.  Over the years, they have damaged and even killed trees, so occasionally I clear away as many of the vines as I can.  Two days ago, I hired a friend to help with the clearing.  He did an amazing amount of work during the four or five hours he was there.

The lot is on a steep hill.  At one point, he and I noticed that there were some yellow daffodils towards the bottom of the lot.  They were beautiful and it was intriguing to see them rising out of the mass of dried blackberry vines.  They looked bigger to us than they do in the picture below.

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During the next hours, I couldn’t get them out of my mind.  If they were this big from a distance, what would they look like if I was closer?  As evening approached, I decided to plant some potato starts in one area where my friend had cleared the blackberry vines.  As I did that, I kept glancing at the flowers.  I wanted to see them up close.

I gingerly made my way towards them, my arms and legs getting pricked by the vines as I walked.  Soon I came to a steep drop off.  There were years of vines piled up there and I couldn’t see the land below them.  There was no doubt in my mind that if I stepped into that mass, I would fall and be immersed in a very painful situation.

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How else could I get there?  I looked north and noticed an area where there were no blackberries.  Maybe I could get to the flowers that way!  It was at that time, the saying, “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize,” first came to mind.

I made it down the steep hill and as you can tell from the pictures above, I could even see the flowers, but I still couldn’t get to them.  Once again, the blackberry vines were too thick.

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I looked south and thought I saw an area that had fewer vines, so I made my way back to the center of the lot and surveyed the situation.  There was no way for me to get to that clearer patch other than to step into the mire that had looked so unsafe to me.  I knew I was too tired to be doing that so decided it was time to stop for the day.

The next morning, my mind was still on the daffodils.  I walked down the hill to check the terrain again.  After a night of rest,  the center area didn’t seem so daunting.  I could even see the ground under the vines.  I decided to go back to the house, exchange my sneakers for heavy boots and pick up a tool to cut (or beat down!) the blackberry vines.

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That plan worked great.  I soon made my way to the small clearing on the south part of the lot.  I noticed a big mushroom and an area of bamboo along the way.

I continued on, cutting the vines as needed.  Before I knew it, I could see the flowers before me.

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With renewed vigor I worked towards my goal.  Before long I was very close!

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And then I was there!

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The daffodils were so beautiful

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But…. what’s that?  Something is moving in the inside of the middle daffodil!  Look closely below, can you see what I saw?

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I was fascinated.  Watch the progression as the scene unfolded!

I thought it was a winged insect at first but when it stretched out completely, it appeared to be a spider.  The top two legs were held close together most of the time, which had given the appearance of wings.  Do any of you who are reading this know what kind of spider it is?

What a grand adventure I had had.  I loved seeing the flowers up close, and then to have the unknown creature come out of one of them was such a bonus.  I wrote a poem about my experience with the spider in Nature’s Miracle.  (I also wrote about another “adventure” on this property last June in A Journey into the Jungle.)

Note:  I looked up information about the phrase “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize.”  According to Wikipedia, it was the name of a folk song that became part of the American Civil Rights movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Watching that video led me to this one.  The song is “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.”  The slide show is so good…. and a trip down memory lane for me.

Who would have guessed that this post would have ended in this way?  I sure wouldn’t have.  To me, that is what living in the moment is all about!

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16 thoughts on “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

  1. What a lovely post, Karuna…if you wanted to, you could just the last stanaz (haiku) form your haiga and this owuld be a magnificient haibun. YOur videos are so perfect leading the reader into “eye on the prize”. You are a determined and tireless woman…going back to reach those stunning daffodils. Did you decide to replant them in your back yard?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know bamboo grew in Washington State. My brother just moved to Mt. Vernon, WA and is looking into landscaping his new yard. Thanks to your post, I’ll suggest bamboo and yellow daffodils and steer him clear of blackberry vines (although they are my favorite berry).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would call that a flower spider. We get them here in Queensland. They are pale lime green and quite pretty really. I enjoyed reading this post Karuna. Gardening always seems to make me think too – sometimes about the past.

    Those blackberries certainly are a tangle. We have an invasive weed here called cat’s claw which I have pulled off fences and trees repeatedly – it’s a vine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I will look it up. That sounds right. It was very delicate even though it didn’t look that way in the close up.

      Another vine we have here that is invasive is the morning glory vine.

      Liked by 1 person

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