Archives for posts with tag: Huw Richards

Thursday afternoon, I arrived home from work a bit early. I had some thoughts about what I would do with the extra bit of leisure heading into a long weekend. A hot shower. A long soak in the hot tub. Leisure. I arrived and my Traveling Partner greeted me eagerly (always nice), and welcomed me home – then asked for my help with a project in the shop. I agreed, perhaps just a bit reluctantly (I was really looking forward to that soak…)(and some “down time”). I didn’t fuss about it from there; we just headed to the shop to get things done.

(Quick side note, and this may matter although it is a small detail, once I’m quite fatigued I am not especially useful in the shop, nor reliably safe around power tools, and we are both aware of this. I’m only properly helpful when I’m pretty rested, and at peak available energy.)

We worked together pretty skillfully, and quite merrily. He did the difficult stuff, and the complex things, I was mostly along for the shared experience, and as a “general day laborer”, working alongside him to hold things in place, hand tools to him, fetch other tools or shims or parts. It was a fun afternoon that lasted well into evening. I ended up bone-tired, with sore feet, and too fatigued to cook an evening meal. lol I would not have traded the experience for some other. We enjoyed the work together, and had a good time.

We didn’t quite finish the project we were working on, and so yesterday morning we worked it out that I would help out finishing that project before running a couple errands that would be best handled on a Friday. Another pleasant day. We both crashed early. We both woke this morning, neither super well-rested, neither of us sleeping very well, both in a predictable amount of physical pain. It is what it is. We treat each other gently and considerately, and give ourselves room to wake up completely with our morning coffee – me in the studio with my writing, and he in the living room listening to lo-fi and likely reading the news. A pleasant start to a Saturday morning.

…None of this was “my plan”. I’m even okay with that. It has taken time to learn to embrace “now” – and to include in that all the many details that are not planned at all. I can recall a time when asking me to deviate from planned activities on a rare afternoon off or long weekend might have seriously frustrated me, to the point of being a jerk about it. I might have spent the time resentfully, bitching about what I was not getting to do, and overlooking all the doing going on nonetheless. I knew more about planning and executing a plan than I knew about just enjoying my experience. I sip my coffee and smile. I’ve come so far! 😀

I did spend time tidying up so I can work, though…

I definitely want to spend creative time in the studio this weekend. Although I’m certain that this is my desire, and I’ve got a loose plan to do so, there are other things that catch my attention as potentially “needing to be done”… I’ve still got to finish cleaning up the hydro equipment and get my peppers started – which also means researching the nutrient recipe those will likely thrive on. Probably already time to cut the front grass again…and I enjoy the well-made reel mower that my partner got for me (I asked him to). I do need to “run to the store real quick” for various food-stuffs and cooking ingredients. I’ve got some returns in the car that need to go to a retailer about an hour up the road, too… leaving that for a weekday would be poor planning…

…I feel myself at risk of “using up” all the precious leisure hours I think I’d like to spend in the studio, as my awareness expands to include the many other things I’d also ideally want to see completed…

I sip my coffee and reflect on “now”. Just sitting, being, and sipping coffee. No rush to action. No frustration or anxiety. No resentment. Just me, this coffee, and this moment. I have choices. One of those is to let go of any resentment over plans that don’t come to fruition. Sometimes plan don’t play out “according to plan” – it doesn’t reduce the value of the time spent planning and reflecting, and it doesn’t hold me back from doing those things differently, or at a different time. And here’s some honesty for the woman in the mirror; the creative drive I am feeling right now is not paired with an evolved or evolving idea for work to start, or an eagerness to complete existing work in progress – I just want to. (I imagaine a cynical chuckle as if an younger version of me is weighing in on matters in the background, “How does it feel to want?”)

Maybe I paint today. Maybe I don’t. Maybe today I garden instead? There is work to be done, and plants to care for. Needful tasks that have some time-sensitive elements. I watch a favorite YouTube gardener talk about May. There is much to be done – and although it isn’t a “competition”, I can see that my wee brand new garden is a bit “behind” (based on my expectations, and what I see of the wild weeds all around), with our slow Spring having held me back a bit. Maybe today is for gardening and errands, and painting is something for a lazy Sunday? There is time for this – for all of it – if I allow myself to slow down and stay mindful of my practical human limitations, and enjoy the journey. Isn’t it that last bit that matters most? To enjoy the journey, the steps, the day-to-day? To choose my path wisely, and accept variations in human experience? To act with love, and really, truly, embrace (and cultivate) joy? I mean… I could fuss and storm about not getting some small detail to work out “just so”, according to some plan, but… isn’t there so much more to enjoy about living?

Baby Love blooming.

I smile and sip my coffee. My Traveling Partner comes in, rubs my neck for a few minutes as I lean gently against his warmth. Love is worth putting aside a clear plan, pretty much any time, I think. 🙂 He leaves the room. I call down the hallway through the open door, “I’ll probably work in the garden today, I’d like to get the hydro up and running for those peppers!”. He answers me “I’ll be around if you need help, or have any questions I can answer!” (What I heard was “I love you”.)

My coffee tastes so good this morning. (Yesterday’s was pretty dreadful somehow.) I think I’ll have another. Watch that garden video to the end, and then, begin again. 😀

Progress is progress – even in small barely noticeable steps. Incremental change over time says nothing about the size of the increments, or the length of the timeframe. Your growth, change, and forward progress in life are yours to pursue, to limit, to choose, to determine, to embrace or resist… No one else really gets to tell you how, when, or why to take a particular step on your path. Doesn’t stop folks from trying, sometimes, or thinking themselves in some way the moderator of your experience.

(One note, before you jump ahead, I’m not presently considering experiences such as childhood, incarceration, or military life, all of which do indeed include a considerable amount of one’s time being “told what to do”, for reasons outside the parameters of this discussion; this is not about that.)

I woke early this morning, a sunny, somewhat chilly Sunday. I woke feeling rested and eager to embrace the day. Feels good. A hot shower, meditation, and my first coffee were enjoyed without waking my still-sleeping Traveling Partner. Instead of bustling about on housekeeping chores or gardening (that would require rattling some things on the deck to get at tools and such), I head out for a short walk and to pick up donuts, hoping to start my partner’s day well. I arrived home to find out that he woke with a severe headache, and a request to be very gentle with him this morning. My greeting is quiet and less boisterous than usual when I open the front door; headaches suck.

We enjoy coffee together and hang out for a few minutes. Pleasant and agreeable moments, shared, are a lovely way to begin a sunny Spring morning. 😀

The garden begins to take shape.

I sit down here with thoughts of gardening and a smile. I’m eager to face even tasks like weeding this year. My vision of our garden is slowly coming together, just as our life here in our own home takes shape a bit at a time. It’s lovely. I wrote myself a gardening “mission statement” for this year’s endeavors (a suggestion by Huw Richards that I found especially helpful for focus and a sense of purpose).

To connect the garden to the kitchen through beautiful edible landscape, and create an oasis of flowers for passing butterflies, hummingbirds, and artistic inspiration.

I reflect on this each morning (and weekend) when I consider what to do next, and how I want to see the garden develop – and what matters most about each plant and seed. The thoughts feel more connected with each other, and I have been less prone to just going nuts with new plants that won’t thrive, or vegetables with cool pictures that I won’t actually eat, or may not be well-suited to the growing conditions here. It’s also helped me refine my thoughts about questions regarding raised beds, additional trees, and placement of objects – all things I sometimes tend to be rather haphazard about, resulting in unsatisfying chaos, and unmanageable workload for the likely return on my time and effort.

I have seedlings coming up in grow bags outside. Seedlings coming up in seed trays on the windowsill in my studio. Seedlings coming up in the front flower beds. Recently planted herb plants establishing themselves in the front beds are thriving – all but the pineapple sage, which I can tell has not been happy about the unexpectedly frosty handful of recent mornings. Looks like it will bounce back, though. I purchased some additional seeds for later sowings, with the eventual return of winter in mind. Planning ahead will ideally mean I am never scrambling to complete the next seasonal task. Somehow having this small “seed bank” of open-pollinated, organic, (often heirloom) selection of seeds that don’t have patent-protecting limitations on reproduction has me feeling more prepared for potentially worsening supply chain issues that may make buying produce challenging. It may be an illusion, but… I like having a garden. I like feeling secure. Having seeds on hand feels good. The time and consideration of each choice – and each source – feels well-spent.

Seeds – the planting, the nurturing, the harvesting of the results – are a fond metaphor, for me. So much of life’s quality is in that “we reap what we sow” sort of place. The idea that “we get out of it what we put into it” appeals to me. I think it is likely a bit more accurate to observe that regardless of circumstances, how we deal with those circumstances is key to the outcome over time and our subjective experience of living our lives. Sometimes the circumstances are garbage. Sometimes “the hand we’re dealt” is pretty fucking crappy. We don’t always choose the shores on which we stand – but we get to choose the direction in which we proceed, do we not? 🙂 So… planting a seed is a small beginning on a new adventure – what we do once that seed is planted has a lot to do with how things turn out, once the fruits of our labor begin to ripen. I sip my coffee and follow the threads of this favorite metaphor as I look out the window to the pear tree beyond the fence, and the small bright yellow bird looking back at me. (I think it is a Yellow Warbler…)

I make a couple notes about things I want to do today, out in the sunshine… place a couple lovely large river rocks that were once part of my aquarium decor… tie the pea trellis more firmly… check in with my Traveling Partner regarding potentially adding a raised bed out front… weeding (and sketching & photographing weeds for later identification)… it’s a lovely morning to plant a seed – and begin again. ❤