I escaped from the madness of my taxes to the gladness of my garden, muttering to myself about how the farmers who made our nation great likely had next to no paperwork or financial records to deal with. They wanted all Americans to learn to read and write, but it was not to torture them. Americans were suppose to read and write inspiring and uplifting things, not to create bureaucratic busybodies.
Just about the only redeeming thing about sorting through the complete mess my wife and I make of our financial records is that I find all sorts of poems I scribbled on the backs of envelopes. The envelope may contain a threatening letter stating the electricity will be turned off, but rather than frightened I think up a rhyme, scribble it down, and toss the envelope in the to-do-later pile. Twice last year we only paid the electricity bill to the guy who came to shut it off, (which involves a $15.00 “collection fee”, but it is well worth it. My time is worth far more than $15.00 an hour, and I had better things to do than open envelopes.)
It is not like we are lazy. It is just that at our Farm-childcare we have 17 children, 7 goats, 2 pigs, chickens, ducks, a rooster, a garden, leaky roofs, snow-storms, mowing, shoveling, and disgruntaled customers to deal with. Who has time for paperwork? Then the State Childcare Inspector drops by and is horrified that our record-keeping is messy. A parent forgot to sign in while dropping off a child, so we get “written up” by the State Inspector. And then the insurance adjuster comes by with nothing better to do than dream up dangers all over the place. So we get “written up” by him as well. And we also have a family and a church and a blog to attend to. Lazy? That isn’t us.
But it is embarrassing when tax-time comes around and I have to start figuring out our business expenses, starting out with the electricity. This involves locating 12 envelopes, only three of which were ever opened, for the farm house, and 12 more for the barn area, and 12 more for our home. They are in six heaps of paper, in various places about the house. Then I add them all up, trying not to be distracted by the poems on the backs of the envelopes. (When my wife hears me chuckling she knows I’m not working.) Yesterday it took me four hours to simply get that far. Embarrassing? Yes, especially because every year we say we are never are going to do this again, and will be tidy and pay our bills when they come…but we never do. However I just figure it goes along with being an artist and an airhead. Poets are suppose to suffer, and that is why God created bureaucrats.
This suffering does make me feel poetic, so I look over my shoulder at the pile of papers and head outside.Will you look at that! One day of warm temperatures has brought the daffodils shooting up! You have to admit that is a lot more interesting than old electricity bills. And something so wonderful simply should not be ignored. That would be ungrateful.
Again green spears of daffodils thrust up.
Again the lifeless landscape comes alive.
The fisted hand relents, and fingers cup
Clear waters to my thirst, as my hopes thrive
And wonder at the beauty made so plain;
The healing spread like balming over pain;
The sanity consoling the insane;
The dawn informing dark it can’t remain.
God knows every star and each one’s name.
Creation shows His art is infinite.
How did He fit together, craft and tame
My world so I can walk around in it?
As He knows all, He needs no further knowledge.
We’re made by One who never went to college.
(This post should explain to you why, when taxes are not due until April 15, I start them in early March.)