Archives for category: Roses

It’s definitely Spring. Small sprigs of new growth are turning up everywhere. Flowers beginning to bloom, though generally only those that bloom earliest, not minding the remaining handful of chilly rainy days to come. There’s a metaphor here.

Leaves unfolding, welcoming Spring.

I looked out onto the deck yesterday, early in the morning, and made a decision to begin readying the container garden for Spring. I let go of grieving roses lost to summer heat and succulents lost to winter cold, and looked on the garden with new eyes, vision no longer obscured by tears. There is so much promise in a Spring garden. More metaphors. I sat down with seed catalogs and thoughtfully considered what to replace, what to move on from, and what new opportunities are in front of me, now. I made careful choices based on a lifetime of experience, which now includes the heart-wrenching woes of the past year, and also, the extraordinary joy I’ve found, and so often. I made a tender sentimental choice to replace just one of the lost roses, with another of the same variety. I took time to appreciate that it will be “the same rose”. I made mental notes of some things I’ve learned from caring for that particular rose for nearly 3 decades, in a pot, and some things I can do more skillfully this time around. I made an exciting choice to add a long-gone favorite I’d had to leave behind many years ago, and somehow never replaced, in spite of how much I loved it. I’m eager to see it thrive here, in this more wholesome place. I added a rose that has a tiny bit of baggage to it, too, unconcerned with any of that, and trusting that the here and now will allow me to let all that go; it’s not my baggage, and it wasn’t my rose. I picked out a new one that so beautifully complements the others that it just seemed to be a necessary thing. (Are you keeping track of the metaphors, here?)

The Spring garden is about more than roses. I like to grow some vegetables, too. I also happen to be a tad whimsical, a bit careless, possibly with a tendency to be a bit lazy… and… yeah. I’m the gardener I’ve got. I do better each year, and learn more about making the most of what, and who, I am. This year I made the choice to pick out a handful of veggies I’ve done very well with, that don’t seem to require much of me, and just one thing that tends to insist I am attentive to a lot of higher-maintenance details. Ease, balanced with challenges. That’s the goal, anyway. So, this year it’s carrots, beets, various salad greens, Swiss chard, ground cherries, and tiny alpine strawberries. I’m fairly terrible with growing peppers, so why bother with that? Tomatoes? Well, I grow pretty awesome tomatoes, pretty easily, but they don’t agree with me so much these days, and I don’t generally eat them. lol There are more metaphors here. Are you listening?

Ready for Spring.

I’m not trying to tell anyone else how to tend their garden. I can’t even make skillful recommendations; I don’t know the lay of the land out your way, or what the soil conditions are like, or whether you are an urban gardener, or someone with a hobby farm, and I certainly don’t know what food you like to eat, or whether you have a fondness for beetles, or… you see, it’s all very personal and subjective. I just know that when I tend my garden, I need to show up, to really be there – or the roses die in the summer heat, the vegetables bolt or whither, and the succulents die in the cold. I’m just saying, my garden is a deeply useful metaphor for a great many things going on in my life, rich with lessons to teach me as I reflect on my experience, fingers in soil, birdsong in my ears, and gentle breezes kissing my cheek.

It’s time to begin again. I finish my coffee, smiling, and thinking of Spring. It’s a metaphor.

I often think of life as a metaphorical garden. (Isn’t it?)

I sometimes stray down the path without tending the garden.

The healthy tilth is a good starting point; planting seeds in crags and rocks may not yield a generous crop of fruits, vegetables, or flowers. Understanding what is fertile ground, and how to prepare ground for planting has value.

Composting scraps and garden waste skillfully results in more fertile soil… but which scraps are suitable, and which will ruin the compost? Not all that is waste or scrap is worth keeping.

Lush and beautiful, chosen with care. We reap what we sow, and how we tend our garden matters.

Choosing seeds and plants with care, understanding the climate, and the seasons, locally, in my own garden, really matters; however fertile the soil, planting something that can’t thrive in my climate puts my garden at a disadvantage.

A weed in one context may be a crop in another.

Taking care, every day, to nurture my garden, to fertilize when needed, to water, to cut back spent blooms, to weed out noxious or invasive intruders that consume resources, but yield nothing, matters greatly over time. If I am not present, some plants may thrive, willy-nilly, coincidental to the luck of the rainfall and the weather, but the outcome is left to chance – other plants will wither and die. My harvest may not be plentiful. My blooming season limited.

My roses suffer my lack of attention; this is true of most things that require attention.

Self-care works very much in this same way. I don’t suppose I need to spell it all out more factually – if you already keep a garden, you already get it. 🙂

My results vary, as does the weather.

I haven’t been home much, lately. Most weekends I am away. I travel to see my Traveling Partner, catching up with him wherever he is. I travel to see friends. I travel for this or that event or festival. I travel on a whim. I catch myself yearning to be at home, in my own garden…

…Yes, it’s a metaphor. 🙂

This weekend I am at home. I am in my own garden, tending it with care, making up for lost time, present, and appreciating this moment, right here. It’s enough to be here, now, and there is no need or time for self-criticism, or what-ifs, or if-onlys. This is now, and now is enough, and I am here, enjoying it with the woman in the mirror – who has been missing this quiet place, and time.

Be present. See wonders. Experience the moment, fully.

The morning started slowly, and auspiciously enough; I slept in. I woke gently in the twilight of a new day, the room turning light in spite of the curtains, as day broke. I got up. Showered. Found my feet carrying me toward the car as soon as I was dressed. Coffee-to-Go and a breakfast sandwich on a hilltop looking out across the countryside, with a view of Mt Hood beyond. Bare feet. Damp grass. Contentment. No firm plan, and coffee finished, I found my way to the farmer’s market, then heading home with fresh local strawberries, fully ripe – the sort one never finds in a grocery store. The scent fills the car.

I arrive home, smiling so hard my face hurt, in spite of the peculiarly moody dark sky, threatening imminent rain (that has only now started to fall, some hours later). I make a Turkish coffee, melt some chocolate, and feast on strawberries dipped in warm chocolate, sipping coffee, in my garden. I raise my cup cheerily at a robin who joins me, watching me from the deck rail. There is work to do in my garden, metaphorical or otherwise, and I have been away far too much for my own good. I finish my coffee, then finish the spring planting, finish the weeding, finish the watering, just in time to head indoors before the rain comes. I leave a strawberry, fat, juicy, and fully ripe, on the deck rail… in case of visitors. 🙂

Rain is definitely coming.

Inside, my metaphorical life-garden greets me, and here too there is work to be done. Untidiness has crept in, a corner here, a stack of paperwork over there, a piece of gear that was not put away, a book askew from all the rest, a stray sock left where it fell, unnoticed, and so much laundry that very much wants to be put away… I’m still smiling. It’s a good day to begin again. 🙂

It’s too early in the morning. I woke up about an hour ago, at 2:30 am. I feel rested. It makes sense, I went to bed around 7:00 pm, too tired and sleepy to stay up any longer. Is it the consequence of wholly disrupting my routine(s) with a near-continuous-party weekend – or am I still getting over the last bit of contagion that smacked me down some weeks ago? The lingering dry cough suggests it might be that… or maybe seasonal allergies.

I smirk at myself for a moment to contemplate that I spend a great deal of time, these days, in the one part of the country I fully know causes me to have Spring allergy symptoms, of all the places I have ever lived or traveled – southern Oregon. LOL Hell, I’m contemplating retiring there. The thought has me straight up laughing literally out loud… and coughing… but I’m not there right now, so… it’s probably not allergies. Sick again? Still?

Does any of that matter beyond making sure I am able to skillfully care for myself?

This is poison oak. An important part of self-care is recognizing common hazards. Just saying; know poison oak when you see it.

Symptoms of OPD (Other People’s Drama) swirl around my experience without becoming directly part of it. I dislike drama enough to create a very nearly entirely drama-free lifestyle, somewhat at odds with the approach many people take, which is to bitch about drama without doing anything much to stop it, minimize it, or to set boundaries about it. I don’t really understand that. I’ll just be over here, doing my thing, my way.

I sip my coffee and contemplate the weekend to come. I’ll be here at my place, working on feeling more at home in my own space, and being committed more willfully to the path in front of me, myself, and this journey I am on. Does that sound “selfish”? I guess it could be called that; I am living my life. This one. The one I live myself. It is, unavoidably, my own. I’ll get some housework done. Spend some time in the studio, painting. Maybe get a nice hike in – the weather looks like it will be good for it.

I think about my Traveling Partner. I wonder how he is doing. I think about the upheaval in his day-to-day experience, and wonder at his ability to roll with so much change, so regularly. I doubt that I would be able to easily accommodate that amount of chaos in my own experience (these days), and chuckle to recall that I was once the most chaotic element of his experience. Tons of people in my social network live with far more chaos and turmoil than I choose for myself. I don’t really understand the choice to do so, but I’ve only understood it as a matter of choice, myself, for a relatively short while (a handful of years, during which I have been choosing differently, most of the time). It’s a challenging change of thinking to accept that we choose our experience. It is a change that requires practice. Much of the time, a great deal of what we endure, of what we suffer, of what we experience daily is entirely self-selected; we not only chose it for ourselves, we set that shit up with great care. We worked at it.

…Or… We did not specifically work at creating something different. There’s that. Either way; there are verbs involved.

We become what we practice. We live the life we choose (and build) for ourselves. There is so much power in that awareness, so much opportunity to change, and grow, and become the person we most want to be… but. We are each walking our own mile. It’s a very individual experience we’re all having, alone, together. Can you do a better job of it? I can’t answer that for you; I only know I can. It just takes practice(s).

Who do you most want to be? What are you doing to become that person, authentically? Where will your journey take you? I don’t have answers to those questions; I’m over here walking my own mile. 😉

It’s time to begin again.

 

I’m sipping my coffee and listening to the rain fall. The dawn is gray, and it’s hard to accept that day break is past, and this… is it. Morning. No “sunrise” in any obvious way. The sky is a drizzly homogeneous featureless gray. I woke planning to paint. I still feel peculiarly energized to paint, and likely will. I’ll probably “go off script” from there, though, and “just paint” instead of working with purpose, plan, and structure on pieces that I have already sketched out in my head. I know what works for me, artistically.

I contemplate conversations with friends from yesterday. The afternoon was spent wrapped in warmth and intimate affection, connected close friendships, easy hang out time. We shared a bite of late lunch-not-quite-dinner, sufficient to fuel the afternoon hours without the distraction of hunger to throw off the genial vibe. Both very good friends of mine, neither had met the other previously, and we all had a great time – it was a well-connected, deep, experience. The conversation was lively, fun in spots, serious in others, and quickly exceeded any sort of “getting to know each other” limitations to become fully invested, authentic, and yeah – deep. Really talking over life. Love. The world. It was soul-nourishing time.

Hanging out and talking, watching cartoons, listening to music – these are very much favorite activities of mine to share with friends. Yesterday was a day well-spent.

I miss my Traveling Partner. I smile, feeling the warmth of his love as a sort of carrier wave on which the details of my experience travel across my consciousness. He would have been so welcome, yesterday. He remains so welcome today. He’s just hundreds of miles away, is all. lol I wish him well, and wrap the thought of him in my love. I would enjoy sharing coffee with him, this morning, and talking over yesterday – and tomorrow. lol Soon enough.

Openness is one of my “Big 5” relationship values. It’s a tricky one – what does that even mean, “openness”? For me, it means both acceptance and non-attachment. It means listening deeply, not just waiting to talk. It means being willing to change my thinking with new information. It means being observant in the moment, and prepared to “go with it” when circumstances or people reveal something more about themselves. It means embracing authenticity, myself, and sharing who I actually am, with others who are sharing who they actually are, too. It means creating an emotionally safe environment for that authenticity to exist. It means learning to communicate without tools like criticism, discouragement, or ad hominem attacks. It means “yes, and…”, instead of “no, but…”. There you go. Go forth and be open! LOL – I know, I know, it isn’t that easy, it does take practice, and your results will definitely vary. 🙂

This morning I got schooled on being open in the most delightful way; I woke to a message asking me where my boundaries may be, on the subject of “getting closer”. Gently handled, clear, frank, and worded such that there just wasn’t any chance of being hurt by the inquiry, or any possible mistake about the intention – quite the contrary. I live pretty openly with this being I have grown to become over time, and I’m not surprised someone besides me would like to be closer. Going beyond the platonic relationship we share now is an exciting thought. No need to rush things along; that’s sort of new, mixed in with all this extra adulting I’ve learned to do. I offer reassurance that I’ve got no preset rules against growing closer, and no objection to it. I find myself wondering if I were sufficiently gracious about it – did I communicate my appreciation? For the desire? For the question? I smile. Everything’s fine. There’s no room for pointless anxiety here. There is always time enough for love. 🙂

The rain intensifies, and perversely I now want to be in the garden. lol Instead, I set a course for the kitchen, a second coffee, and my meditation cushion. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

Weird morning. Strange emotional context to wake into. I sip my coffee feeling very much in love – that “wrapped in delight” almost giddy feeling of excitement just to be in the presence of a special someone. I woke with a song in my head. Funny. Strange choice? Maybe… particularly considering the object of my affections this morning is… me. lol Yeah, that’s a weird one to write about. I’m sort of “crushing on myself” this morning, grooving to tunes I love, too early in the morning, sipping my coffee. Grabbing my bass now and then to try to slowly pick out some particular bit of bass line that catches my attention. It’s a very “now” sort of experience. I feel content. Filled with quiet delight and satisfaction… What is this feeling?

I’m okay right now. Wow – does that actually feel this good, given a chance?

I take a moment for perspective. Sip my coffee appreciatively (another great cup of coffee, and a lovely start to a Saturday morning). I went to bed very early, feeling sick, teetering on the beginning of a head cold I was hoping could be put to rest with… some rest. I feel some better this morning… maybe I won’t get a cold after all? Still, that killer headache I went to bed with was a real thing. I consider the possibility that my current delicious delightful warm and merry emotional state of being may be a byproduct of wellness, unwellness, or biochemical weirdness of some other unspecified sort… Well… I still feel. 🙂  Among all the many ways I could feel at the start of a day, this is, without a doubt, once of the most enjoyable. I feel happy with who I am, who I have become over time, with how I care for myself these days. I smile. The track on my playlist changes. The moment moves on, and becomes new again.

I sip my coffee and smile thinking about my Traveling Partner. I think about parties and friends far away. I think about my niece taking adulthood for her first real spin around the block – 18 already? I smile, and have another drink of my coffee. I think about upcoming holidays, concerts, and plans. I think about work. I think about the container garden on my patio. I think about chickens. I think about a metamour down south and the lovely view from the mountainside on which she makes her home. I think about time. I think about thyme. I think about change. I let my mind wander. I let the music play. I think about late nights, and early mornings. Still smiling, I finish my coffee, and start my day. 🙂