Archives for category: gardening

β€œLife should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” ~Hunter S. Thompson

…And all the new beginnings that that implies…and perhaps a few more.

I put quite a bit of time, enthusiastic daydreaming, and research, into the trip I planned to take this past weekend. I never did the one thing necessary to bring it to life; I did not begin the journey. I just thought about it. LOL There’s a lesson in there. An allegory. A metaphor. A parable, perhaps. The weekend did not lack of significant XP, however; it was an adventure, a brief journey, and an interesting progression of emotions and events, nonetheless. πŸ™‚

I needed wide open space, and big sky – and found it close to home. There’s a lesson, here, too.

My birthday has been well-celebrated. A new year of life has been kick-started, decisively. There has been feasting, entertainment, the company of friends, and so much love! Errands were run. Housekeeping got done. The garden was cared for. A humble adventure has commenced.

My first orchid. A wee adventure with which to start the year.

It’s been a fast, relaxed, and delightful handful of days, in spite of news of my Mother’s decline. There will be time to process that in full, and there is no need to rush, or to force it down into a dark quiet corner of my heart. It is what it is; we are mortal creatures, and of all the things that will inevitably pass, our brief mortal lives are one of the most challenging to let go of… and then that greater challenging of letting go of those we love. No user’s guide for this one, either. I sometimes feel I am fumbling around in the dark with my emotions. I know that my emotions haven’t killed me yet. πŸ™‚ I’ll get through this, too.

I think about the beautiful broad expanse of meadow, and the scent of wildflowers on the breeze.

I smile, letting the details of the weekend unfold in my recollection. What a lovely time to share with my Traveling Partner.

Life’s pleasures don’t have to be fancy to be enjoyed. Life’s beauty doesn’t have to be costly to be lovely.

I sip my coffee. It’s Monday. I shift gears to “now” and remind myself of the path ahead. The year will continue to unfold. What will July hold? What of September? And the holiday season with my Traveling Partner right here at home? What of the future? And the unanswered questions in life?

Where does this path lead?

It’s time to find out. It’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚

56 today. Feels a lot like 55, yesterday. lol I’m okay with that, too, and chose a lot of what it has taken to be here, now. I sip my coffee looking back on the year with considerable contentment. It was a year well-lived, and greatly enjoyed – even if the first half was largely spent “being there” for my Traveling Partner, as he extricated himself from a sticky, damaging, abusive relationship (and doing so at some expense). I lived my life, and my values, and that matters, so much.

The garden is lovely. My coffee tastes good – the sort of great cup of coffee that leaves a thirst for more, once it is down to the last sip. I’m home, enjoying the day, in the middle of the work week, celebrating life, and love, and self. I feel rested. The forecast is for another very hot day (above 90 F). I’ll finish here, and take my coffee out onto the deck, water the garden, and meditate.

The pointless loveliness of a flower is, for me, rich with meaning.

This all feels so… comfortably ordinary. This isn’t a feeling that I’ve spent a lifetime with; it’s new. Well, relatively new. New enough for me to be acutely aware I have not always “lived here” in this way. The takeaway, this morning, is that healing is frankly very possible – for a lot of us, many of us, most of us (perhaps), and that’s incredibly powerful. It requires a lot of self-work, a will to be wholly frank with oneself, open, able to reassess implicit assumptions and biases, skilled at recognizing those internals attacks that hold us back, and tear open old wounds unexpectedly. It sounds like so much to have to take on, and it feels… impossible. Overwhelming. Isolating. Depressing. Devastatingly permanent. At least, at first. Is it weird that getting from hell to my garden has been a journey that begins (again and again) with a breath, and ends on a meditation cushion (again and again), feeling content, and whole? If it ever really ends. I could call yesterday an ending…

…But isn’t this morning a new beginning? Am I not here, beginning again? (I assure you, I am, at least for now, in this mortal life.) It’s been a journey. I’ve had help along the way – and I’ve needed it, and often felt unable to ask for it. Being able to accept it when offered, was an excellent place to start. I pause for gratitude. I think of my Granny. I think of friends. I think of my therapist. I think of my Traveling Partner. I haven’t made this journey alone, except in that limited way in which is happens to be mine.

Dinner with friends last night was celebratory and beautiful. It pushed aside, however briefly, the news I’d gotten moments earlier that my Mother is ill… like… end of life ill. Rejecting care, ill. Wrapping things up, ill. My heart, for the moment, is surprisingly light; she has been, in my life, a source of intellectual inspiration, and I find that I am not able to disrespect her thinking on this important choice in life. I feel the hint of the pain to come, like taking a sickening blow the back of the head – I know the pain is coming, but it isn’t here, yet. I’m okay, right now. We are mortal creatures; even life is something we must let go, sooner or later. I’ll call her later. I’ll find words to say.

Beginnings and endings. Mortality. Choices. One pure moment of real contentment, a spot to stand in life’s chaotic stream that feels calm, for just a moment, one deep breath in, released as a sigh – contentment saved my life. I found I could build and sustain it, and that in doing so, happiness could find me, and I could stop chasing it. It’s not permanent. None of this is.

I’ll always remember my Mother’s age; she’s twenty years older than I am, and the dates are rather close. Easy. I suspect I won’t find it so easy to remember when she passes… 56? 57? 58? When it comes, it is likely to hit a year that seems insignificant in so many other ways… (and let’s be real; most of the details of our individual lives are fairly insignificant) I guess that seems reasonable. Isn’t her life of more value to me, even in its end, that her death ever could be?

Beginnings and endings. Birthdays. We live. We celebrate. We die. “This too shall pass…” Even life. Make it worthy through your choices. Take care of the fragile vessel in which you reside. Love with your whole heart – and yes, include yourself. Be present. These are all choices within your reach… if your baggage is in the way, just shove that shit to the side – and begin again. ❀

Tomorrow, 56. Today? The end of 55. It’s been a very much better than average year, actually… seems worth noticing at least that. πŸ™‚ So, my grim titular reference isn’t all that; it’s just a way of pointing out this year has been filled with days, and the last of those is today.

Contrary to what the sign says, I’m pretty sure there’s more than one way. πŸ˜‰

I’m taking a few moments this morning to take stock of the year, much in the way I do on New Year’s, and with a “summer ahead” sort of perspective. It’s time to let go of lingering petty foolishness, and time to revisit old lists of shit to do, and either do what has not yet been done, or scratch it from the list and move on. It’s a good time to celebrate a year of accomplishments, personal and professional. It’s a time to “reset” on whatever I can, and move forward from “here” and on to the next year. πŸ™‚

Flowers fade, sure, and flowers open. The endings are also beginnings.

I sip my coffee and watch the sky begin to lighten, awhile. No pressure. No hurry. Just me, this cup of coffee, and this moment. πŸ™‚ I think awhile about last year, around this time. It wasn’t about me. Really – none of it was. lol I’m even okay with that. It was a year to wake up, to make changes, to move on, and to level up. I learned a lot, and sustained very little damage in the process; I count that as a win. πŸ˜€

I’m tempted for a moment to hop forward to tomorrow, ahead of time, and to contemplate the future, and being 56. I grin at myself, and let that go. Tomorrow is tomorrow; I also want to wholly experience today. πŸ™‚ The last day of being 55. I won’t be “here” again, however long my lifetime may be. πŸ˜‰

So much goes into this journey…

I glance at the clock. I’ve got time to water the garden before work, and the forecast is 95 F (35 C). The garden is so lovely this year; it was the heat that provided the magic fail sauce last year, and my frequent time away. I’ve committed to doing better this year, and clearly, here I am, ready for that…

…New beginnings still need some verbs. It’s time to begin again. πŸ˜€

It was a good weekend. Relaxed. Filled with reading, conversation, and quality time, well-spent. It was a bit peculiar, but only inasmuch as a 9-hour power outage changed the character of a Saturday, and ultimately of the weekend, but occurring pretty closely to the start of the earliest possible thought of preparing dinner on the grill, and watching UFC with my Traveling Partner… we did neither of those things. LOL The grill is electronically temperature controlled, and has an electrically powered fire-starter. Well, shit. The UFC fights? Yeah, we needed the power for that, too. :-\

Initially, we fussed, in turns, over whether one or the other of our phones would provide enough bandwidth to support streaming the fights… my internet isn’t quite that good. Well, shit.

It was a lovely day to catch up on my reading.

We let it go. We hung out, reading, playing small games on our phones, enjoying the sunny Spring day out on the deck. The day was pleasant. I went to bed a bit earlier than I often do, and missed the power coming back on. lol

The entire weekend ended up being a very pleasant, relaxed weekend, spent with each other. It was quite lovely. Yesterday, I happily ran an errand, then spent the day doing laundry, and tidying up. I dunno… it was a heavenly weekend. πŸ™‚ I sip my coffee, very much aware that it was also entirely ordinary. I’m okay with that. πŸ˜€

56 in just two days. I’m okay with that, too. I grin at myself, thinking about all the things I am – and am not – sitting here today.

…My thoughts are interrupted most aggravatingly by my neighbor revving his car in the drive way, rattling the wall. I haven’t heard it quite like this before, and find myself hoping his cute lowered and modified car is “okay”. Then, the wall rattles again, and I frown, see-sawing between interested concern, and the raw nerves of noise sensitivity. Damn, dude, that car does not need to warm up for 10 fucking minutes… for fucks sake. I note the reaction, and take a slow, deep breath. He pulls away. I exhale and let it go. πŸ™‚

It’s a morning to practice non-attachment, I suppose… πŸ˜‰

I finish my coffee hurriedly, and realize my mistake when I begin coughing (I inhaled some of it. lol). I slow myself down with my whole will, and take another breath. There’s time. 56 doesn’t get here any sooner if I am rushing myself along, it only diminishes the quality of the journey getting there. lol

I consider a moment of contentment, captured in a photograph, and begin again.

Actually, no. Let that one go. This one, here? This one, too. Let it go. A moment isn’t really meant to last in any enduring way; it’s only a moment. It’ll pass. Good or bad. Each moment (and experience) is its own thing. Discreet. Individual. Transitory. Impermanent. Breathe. Relax. It’s gone. Set up the dominoes again, and watch them fall one more time.

Roses on a sunny day, impermanent, like moments.

I take a moment to enjoy my coffee. I take a moment for my small list of things I’d like to get done before I leave for work. I take a moment to be grateful – in advance – for the day ahead, hoping it will be filled with laughter and wonder. I let it go in advance, too; it is not yet “now”. πŸ™‚

So much of life’s turmoil seems wrapped up in our clinging and struggling. This cup of coffee, right here, required no struggle to make this morning, in spite of waking feeling rather distracted, a bit dizzy and stupid, and uncertain; it’s a lovely morning. I got to enjoy a few minutes of my Traveling Partner’s company, too. A nice start to a Spring morning. I sip my coffee contentedly, thinking about summer days to come.

I look at the time… how is it already “now” so soon? πŸ˜‰ I chuckle to myself, wondering if I can maintain this balanced moment of “now” – all day long? My smile deepens, and a minute ticks over on the clock. Close enough! πŸ˜€ Feeling ready for this moment, and this day, is enough to get started on. This one seems as good a moment as any to begin again. πŸ™‚

Enjoy another rose – they’re quite lovely. πŸ™‚