i wrote this a few days ago, but thought i would post it now to give you all something long to read 🙂
i am not an earthy person. i don’t wear birkenstocks or go on hikes or picnic at nature trails. i am more likely to call a neighbor than to walk over and visit. i’d rather watch a documentary about a scenic place than actually go there.
so, imagine my surprise about how much being out in the garden is a completely transformational experience. i know i’ve mentioned this before, but i wanted to write more stream-of-consciousness style, what’s it’s like to be in the garden.
last night i came home pretty much done with the day. (done in the existential sense- not meaning it was late so i came home…) it had been long and busy and frustrating, and normally i would have just put on comfy pajamas and gone to bed. but i wanted to do a few “quick” things before i settled down for the night. so we cleaned up the house and put some of the kids to bed, and then i went outside.
i was going to pull some weeds, and maybe take some dead leaves off of plants (about the full extent of what i know how to do in the garden…), but as i was sitting there, i felt the world kind of melt away. (yes, i know- gag at the overused metaphor. if i had just read that syrupy prose instead of writing it, i would be gagging too. but, i’m trying for accuracy here. have to give you your money’s worth, right?) i just had such a sense of calm, and the world slowing down. it was around dusk, but there were no mosquitos- yay for bats!- and i was sitting on the ground trying not to crush any new grass while i pulled weeds. i was breathing slower and deeper, and exhaling longer, and all the things i imagine they do in a good yoga class.
just to inject here: relaxation tapes drive me nuts. the thought of meditating sends me running off to clean the house. i am sort of a driven/type A/a bit OCD person.
but last night felt really good. lightning bugs were flashing around (which was cool once i realized i wasn’t having a stroke or something), and a storm was brewing, and the temperature was dropping, and the air was smelling different, and i was thinking about some of the books i’ve read about amish farmers. about how they “walk their land”, and they know every inch of their property like they know their own hand.
i used to think, “oh, they know which dirt is wetter or drier. which plants are dead. big whoop. whatever.”
but as i puttered around like a new mother, i laughed at how on target that description is. when i was a new mom, i’d always fuss with the baby’s blanket. is he too hot? too cold? i’d put on her socks (for warm feet) and then take them off ( for fresh air). i’d adjust their position in the stroller until my husband would just crack up.
and last night, as i walked my land, i studied each plant. i checked each leaf- too dry? dead? still droopy? i pulled itty bitty weeds away from itty bitty plants so they wouldn’t have to fight over nutrients in the soil. i checked the plant stakes and the woodchips and the containers of new plants, and i was just in a state of fascination with all of it. i really knew which plants were struggling and which were thriving and which i needed to check more carefully and which were doing great being mostly left alone. i knew what blew over in the last strong wind and what had been eaten by squirrels and which plants were just going to have to be sacrificed to the compost heap. i knew my garden!
i am a “results now” kind of girl- but the plants are going at their own pace. things i planted the same day are now different sizes. plants that looked like they had been through war are now looking strong and healthy. i’m learning through my garden to just sit quietly and be…
i sat on the swing, and looked at my garden and thought about life (ok, i thought about this blog too) and i realized something:
the biblical version of paradise was a garden for a reason. whether you believe the bible is literal or metaphorical or whatever- the garden of eden was the perfect setting for paradise.
i’m sighing deeply as i’m writing this. i’m so lucky my husband is willing to go along with my crazy ideas. i’m so lucky that i have family and friends who support me. i’m so happy that i have this garden…
and that’s all i have to say about that.