A Good Man



I’m not in the best mood.

I was doing great when Jon and I had breakfast with his editor and our friend Rosemary.   Afterwards, me and the dogs took an invigorating walking in the woods, where my head began to clear after the hour long ride home.

I went to my studio ready to work.

I just got a new shipment of tote bags  so I got my markers and lit my candle and started to draw.

But suddenly it didn’t feel good.  I was bored with my drawings, didn’t like anything I was doing.

Maybe it’s just that  I’m just in a disagreeable mood and I wouldn’t have felt good about anything I did.  Thursday I was lower than low and yesterday I was flying.

This afternoon everything’s annoying me.  The donkeys braying at the gate, Fate whining at the door for me to let her out.

Then, as I was going from my studio to the house, I stepped in a big load of dog shit.

I stood on the porch, my nose wrinkled  like a Halloween witch’s, disgust and defeat on my face, looking at the bottom of my boot.  The grooves  packed with dog shit were so many  and as thick as a tire.

I started to scrap away at it with an old rusty piece of metal I found on the porch.

Uck, I said to Jon, as he walked out of the house.  I just stepped in a big load of shit.   Take your boot off he said, I’ll clean it for you.  I gave him a look like, Huh?   and walked over the hose.  I’ll just wash it off I said.  No really, I’m good at this, Jon said taking out his farmers knife from his pocket. (He is good at it, I’ve seen him  patiently do it many times to his own shoes.)

Now there was no reason for Jon to be so nice to me.  It’s one of the things about him that I still don’t quite get.  I can be in the worst mood and it doesn’t bother him.  He  told me he actually finds my moods interesting.

So I unlaced my boot and handed it to him.  Not only did he scrape it clean and rinse it off, then he went and looked for the rest of the load of shit in the back yard and cleaned that up too.

I know Jon’s a good man.  But we’ve been together  about 8 years  and he still surprises me with  all the different good he can be.   I mean genuinely wanting to scrape shit off my  the bottom of my boot…that goes above and beyond.

I’ve lived with men who threw fits when they stepped in shit.   Yelling and throwing things and blaming it on the dog.

My boot is cleaner than it’s been in a long time,  and even though my mood hasn’t shifted I do appreciate, all over again, the good man I married.

I gave him a kiss on the top of his head, thanked him, took my boot and retreated to my studio,  where I could be as pissy as I want and leave Jon in peace for a  little while.

10 thoughts on “A Good Man

  1. Nothing like dog poop to put the world into perspective for us, Maria….how quickly too the mind can revert to times when a reaction to this would be verbally abusive towards a woman. Living with a quick tempered man can be destructive for a woman. And controlling. It is little things like Jon did in cleaning out the ridges of your boot. It is the small acts of kindness that tell the measure of a person, don’t you think?
    SandyP in Ont.Can.

  2. Maria……… a Mary Oliver …for you:
    Today I’m flying low and I’m
 not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
    The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
 And so forth.
    But I’m taking the day off.
    Quiet as a feather. 
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
 a terrific distance.
    One of the doors 
into the temple.

    poop on your boot turned out to be a good thing……

    best regards always,

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