Unintentional Rewilding – One Step at a Time!

There’s a driveway in front of my house. Anyone who looked at it over the last year might have been forgiven for thinking that perhaps nobody lived here – every single cobblestone had become grown over with moss, and every crack between them had become home to multiple small weeds. I have to take full responsibility – I did notice this problem as it was sprouting. But noticing it and doing something about it are two very different things!

Months passed as this unintentional rewilding of my driveway continued. I saw it but I did nothing about it. Cognitive dissonance is the psychological discomfort that arises from holding conflicting beliefs – in my case I avoided this discomfort by pretending that the driveway actually looked fine. It’s amazing how easily I can fool myself when I want to.

As the seasons turned, a decision finally took root alongside the flourishing moss and sprouting grass on my cobbled driveway. Perhaps it was the crisp bite of autumn air that invigorated my resolve, or maybe the subtle realisation that the unruly green was a metaphor for letting things slide a bit too far. Whatever the catalyst, it led me on a journey to Woodies DIY, where among the aisles of paint and tools, I found my implement of change: a shovel.

This shovel wasn’t destined for grand gestures or heroic undertakings. Its blade, sharp and unyielding, was chosen for the meticulous task of reclaiming order from chaos, one cobblestone at a time. And so, with a sense of purpose, I began the slow dance of restoration. The sharp edge of the shovel became an extension of my will, methodically scraping out the moss and earth nestled between the stones. Each stroke was a small victory, each cleared crevice a reclaimed territory in a war measured not in conquests but in persistence.

I never aimed to conquer the driveway in a day. Instead, I adopted a strategy of increments. Every departure and return to and from home was marked by a few minutes dedicated to freeing a few more cobblestones from their weedy invaders. The task became a ritual, punctuated by the sound of metal scraping against stone.

Weeks turned into months, and the transformation was as gradual as the growth that had given rise to it. Yet, each day, a few more stones would emerge, clean and vibrant against the setting sun. The area by the door was the first to enjoy the fruits of my labour. Then, a pathway unfolded, tracing steps to the car and, in time, weaving all the way to the gate and around to the side of the house.

What was once a mosaic of green and brown gave way to the rich, dark red of the cobbles, almost like new but with the added character of effort and time. The weeds and grass, once rampant, were now a memory, replaced by the order and beauty of well-tended craftsmanship. It was a transformation not just of the ground beneath my feet, but of the mindset that guided my daily life.

This driveway stood as a testament to the power of perseverance. It was a reminder that the greatest changes come not from the sweeping gestures but from the sum of small, consistent actions. In the grand tapestry of life, each thread weaves a pattern, and each moment is an opportunity for improvement, one small step at a time. It’s not the giant leaps that define our progress, but the ability to make a little difference, over and over again, until the picture is complete.

And so, as I stand back and admire my work, a new pattern emerges. The driveway, once a symbol of neglect, is now a canvas displaying the fruits of determination and the understated elegance of patience. It reminds us that even when the task seems insurmountable, a steady hand and a willing heart can turn the tide, one cobblestone at a time.