Archives for posts with tag: I’ll be in the garden

It’s a mild Saturday morning. Not yet sunny. Also not raining. Just a morning. My coffee is hot, sitting mostly untouched in front of me. My Traveling Partner and I are “enjoying” our individual, somewhat overlapping, personal experiences of seasonal allergies. His, a lifetime struggle. Mine? Returning with a vengeance here in this new place, after decades mostly without allergies at all. I’ve minimized my allergies for years; they simply aren’t “anything” in comparison to what my Mom endured, or what my Traveling Partner goes through for so much of the calendar year that even suggesting those are “seasonal” could seem like a mockery. “I don’t have allergies” still seems mostly true for me… but this morning, my stuffy head and sneezes tell a story of Spring, and pollen (it’s the tree pollen that seems to be the issue; I can smell flowers all damned day without concern).

…And of course, my preferred walks each day? Forests. Trees. Shaded paths. Hilarious. 0_o (That’s a rare use of sarcasm; I’m not finding it all amusing really.)

It is a mild Saturday morning, suitable for gardening (I have a list of things to do), and relaxing. I’m eager to do a bit of gardening in this new place – gardening that won’t suddenly face the upheaval of moving away, gardening that can be planned for a future that exists. Maybe. I mean… the future is an uncertain thing, but at least here I can plan for some sort of permanence, as much as one ever can. No, I’m not feeling down or fatalistic, just disinclined to deceive myself with fanciful tales of “happily ever after” or “always”. Those are not helpful concepts, generally speaking. 🙂

“Baby Love”, an early bloomer, will go into the ground this weekend. 🙂

This cup of coffee is good. Not good enough to ease me past the morning frustration of dealing with allergies, perhaps, or to fix any of society’s ills, but it’s a nice moment on a pleasant morning, and that’s enough right now. I think of far away friends I’d like to take time to connect with, emails I’d like to write. Maybe pick up the damned phone now and then? (Does anyone actually answer the phone when it rings, any more? I rarely do… is that a “me thing”, or an “everyone thing”? Has the etiquette of a phone call changed since… before?)

At some point, after our anniversary was past, my Traveling Partner ever-so-gently brought up how much benefit I seem to get out of a weekend away, solo, and wondered aloud if I were, perhaps, due for one…? He admitted to having the thought on our anniversary, and shared that it seemed less than ideal to bring it up on that occasion. I appreciate his consideration… I’d had that thought, too, and felt like a complete jerk for it, considering the occasion. LOL He’s quite right, though; I’m definitely “feeling it”.

…And he definitely feels me feeling it…

I’m not sure why I’m feeling it so hard right now… the new job is intense (in good ways) and quite busy. I do spend nearly 100% of my waking time in the presence of at least one other human being, or on a call, or in a meeting (and yes, Zoom meetings are still every bit as “people-y” as in person, for me)… it gets fatiguing after a while. I enjoy solitude. I want to simply exist, free of social constraints or pressures to perform, conform, achieve, or relieve. I want to breathe my own breath. Think my own thoughts. Exist entirely in the context of my own experience. Make choices with little regard for other tastes, other needs, other timing. It’s complicated when people partner up who have very different needs in this area. I’m fairly certain that while I feel like I “never have a minute for my own thoughts”, my partner may feel that we “never get to spend any time together” – and both those experiences are legitimate perspectives on our individual experience as human primates. I’m fortunate to be in a partnership in which we recognize our differences and value them – and help each other find our best path forward.

Anyway. I’ve been vaccinated. I feel relatively comfortable making the short journey to the coast and taking a day for myself. Masked & distancing, yeah, that’s still a thing for sure. I’m okay with that, too. I got lucky on getting a pleasant ocean view room a few steps from the beach (131 actual stair steps, if reviews are to be believed) – next weekend. The weather is nice for painting. I’ll take my water colors and my camera along with me. My laptop. I’ll walk miles along the beach. Take some pictures. Meditate. Think. Write. Paint.

…I will miss my Traveling Partner so so much…

We benefit from a bit of time to miss each other. I sip my coffee and wonder what he’ll get up to while I’m away… besides missing me, I mean. 🙂 I already look forward to sharing pictures and conversing about time we did not spend together.

…I’m already looking forward to beginning again. 🙂

Yesterday sorted of slipped past me. Spring. 🙂 I woke from a deeply restful night’s sleep, yesterday, slowly, gently, a day fully planned for hanging out with a friend and going out later. When I stood the headache just flattened me. I intended to take things easy, what with the headache, followed by a bit of dizziness and nausea, but shortly found myself… wandering around the house… kind of randomly and without purpose.

I honestly wasn’t sure what was up with me beyond the headache. I cancelled hang out plans first thing in favor of self-care.

…I didn’t make coffee. I have no idea why, but I just… didn’t. I got in the car, barely awake, and drove down the street to an excellent cafe (the storefront of a local coffee roaster I enjoy) and got coffee. I committed firmly to heading home…and spent 90 minutes driving around the countryside drinking coffee. It was a weird morning, lacking in stress – or purpose.

I found my way home, and sat awhile on my meditation cushion in the open patio doorway, listening the rain fall, and feeling the spring breezes. Definitely spring; there are signs of greenery, like a fine mist, all over the deciduous trees, and the roses are leafing out in shades of bright green and russet (the reddest of my roses always seem to have the deepest red new leaves and shoots, where the yellow, pink, or peach ones are often very bright light green shades). I watched squirrels play. I watched birds hop about. I definitely wanted to be in the garden.

As soon as I stood to head into the garden, my headache reminded me why I was taking it so easy. Then my eye reminded me that I would not be easily able to do the things I wanted to do in the container garden on the deck without a visit to the nursery or garden supply place nearby… and I hadn’t actually visited those last autumn after moving in. I happily got back in the car and drove around checking out the nearest garden suppliers, finding one that feels most “like my sort”, and spending quite a long while exploring there. I stopped for Turkish coffee along the way. I came home with soil and a handful of seeds. Yep. I could have gone just about anywhere for the things I actually returned home with. LOL

One lovely moment from a lovely day.

It was a weird day with the woman in the mirror.

Spring is here.

I spent the afternoon in the garden, and finished up out there aware that I was still headaching on this whole other “maybe you really need to take it easy” level when I careened into the door jamb clumsily. Okay, okay, so… maybe a night out on St Patrick’s Day to see a great band play in a local bar returning home further fatigued and faced with night driving would not be an ideal choice? I canceled those plans, too. I felt content with the decision-making, and unconcerned with the weirdness.

Later, I roasted a chicken on the smoker-grill on the patio; it sits under the eaves, just out of the rain, and the smell of it was wonderful. Cold chicken salad tonight – which also sounds quite nice.

It was a lovely Saturday, headache and all. I’m content to have enjoyed it, making the most of the day without regard to that headache, which, honestly, completely sucked all day long. I just really don’t want to waste more days on pain than I have to… I’m not sure how many I get, you know? 😉

Today, brunch with a friend, and a visit to a favorite market. The headache, for now, has eased somewhat. It’s a lovely morning to begin again.

I slept heavily last night and woke with effort to the insistent beeping of my alarm. My joints snap and crunch as I move through my morning routine; I’m stiff and have a headache. I feel vaguely aggravated, but aware that it is all biology, and there’s really nothing ‘wrong’ aside from the simple realities of aging, and paying the price of youthful misadventure. My coffee seemed to go cold as soon as I pulled the shot, which, while irritating, is irrelevant; I swallow the bitter brew in spite of that, preferring to avoid the headache that I could expect later if I chose to dump it out. I suppose I could have started over…

I feel far removed from a sense of contentment.

Yesterday evening was lovely. Dinner out and family time hanging out at home afterward. The evening looked promising for romance, too, but without any real agita it didn’t go that way after all.

I feel restless and annoyed, although there doesn’t seem any real reason for it. Yesterday, too. Hormones most likely, and at the tail end of things there’s no easy way to be certain of that; I just accept what is, and practice good practices, and hope that in simple practices of mindfulness, and continuing to return my attention to what is good and satisfying, I will perhaps let go of what is not with greater ease. Can I learn to be satisfied with less and less of what I think I want and need, until only satisfaction remains, whatever I may actually have?

I feel so human.

In a photograph of flowers it always looks like spring.

Let’s take a moment for something else…

Imagine yourself anywhere at all, right now, doing…something. Whatever you like. No limits. Sink into it. Make it real. Build it in your imagination with words and feelings; you know you can, it’s how thinking works, and most of our experience in based on this, more than what is ‘real’. So. Where are you? What are you doing? I am sitting at a small bistro table, on a pleasant morning, with a very good latte and enjoying the sunshine and flowers of my cottage garden, on the edge of some small friendly village. I’d be relaxing with my partner, conversing about whatever, feeling the breezes and waving to passing neighbors, and maybe sharing a warm scone while we talk about love. At least this morning, that’s where I’d be…some days I yearn for something different. Today I yearn for love, Love, and romance, and a quiet cottage garden.

Today is a good day for honest heartfelt yearning, and also a good day for contentment and satisfaction, and recognizing that what is can be amazing when I am not chasing what isn’t. Today is a good day to seek perspective, and for recognizing it when it is found. Today is a good day to smile in the face of my challenges; life’s curriculum would teach nothing if it were too easy. Today is a good day to accept that the challenges of this day become the strength of character I rest on tomorrow. Today is a good day to take another look at how I see the world.

This weekend was well-spent on healing and wellness, gardening, love, meditation; it was a delightfully quiet weekend.  In spite of aching knees, juggling a cane, and the frequent heavy rain showers, I spent much of the weekend in the garden, hands in the earth, feet on the ground, eyes skyward or focused on some tiny wonder.  The fresh spring air, and dampness of raindrops on my skin as they loose from where they had collected, when I brush by unconcerned, soaks into my skin, into my heart. I feel refreshed and whole and free.

There have been few places or times in my life when I had no garden at all.  Even in apartment living, I’ve generally had at least some potted herbs, perhaps a rose, or a potted tree of some sort. In 32 years of adult life, I’ve been without a garden for only about 5 years. Some gardens were a continuous struggle with drought, heat, rain, drainage, bugs, critters, in-laws, distance…something. It isn’t always easy. Actually, it’s rarely ‘easy’. Gardening is work, and commitment, and planning, and more of all that and trouble-shooting on top of it.  Long before I heard the word ‘mindfulness’ used in a sentence, I found ‘now’ in my garden. Healing perspective is in my garden. A breath of fresh air, that too, I can find in my garden. A few minutes of stillness, some wonder, excitement, a bit of novelty, a sense of home, peace and contentment, adventure…all in my garden. Lush greens, dark corners, hidden corners of peace and loveliness, and the occasional stray flower of a sort I don’t recall planting; my garden has been the foundation and safe deposit box of whatever sanity I could hang on to, in many years of my life.

Remember the gazing ball that was broken last year? I replaced it Sunday.

The new gazing ball, honoring the hold one; this one already broken, a mosaic of shattered glass.

The new gazing ball, honoring the hold one; this one already broken, a mosaic of shattered glass.

It was that sort of weekend in the garden. I puttered around tying off loose ends, finishing projects, following up on things, taking a second look… it was a weekend for pleasure and perspective.

...And a new bird bath.

…And a new bird bath.

I sometimes overlook how healing I find the garden. A moment of OPD or weirdness, a flare up of my arthritis, or a trip to hormone hell, and even though I know how healing the garden can be, it isn’t always my first destination on that journey. Still human. I checked.

Beauty feels so good.

Beauty feels so good.

It’s worth taking the time to ‘be’ in the garden. Permanence is not relevant. I had allowed myself to be distracted by impermanence, somehow. Perhaps tomorrow, or next year, or 5 years from now, this will not be my garden. Is that important now? Now is the garden as I stand in it. It needn’t wait for another day, or more certainty, or something better, or more of… it needn’t wait at all.  The garden has planning and future, and daydreaming, of course, and all that is as lovely as soap bubbles on a spring breeze. The garden is a very ‘right now’ place nonetheless.  It has my history, my present, and my future along stone paths, and held in bright pots, unfolding each moment as a seed of some ‘next time’.

My history. "Splish-Splash" rose [Moore. 1994]  I've had this miniature, this very plant, with me since 1995.

My history. “Splish-Splash” rose [Moore. 1994] I’ve had this miniature, this very plant, with me since 1995.

I have moved a lot. I’ve had more than one garden. I’ll likely have others. Each is precious to me, and each is ‘my garden’ for all the days I tend it. I hold nothing back; I garden now, even though the future is not assured.

The garden is my future, as well as my now, holding my daydreams gently.  Seedlings of the California poppy border I planted this spring are just coming up now.

The garden is my future, as well as my now, holding my daydreams gently. Seedlings of the California poppy border I planted this spring are just coming up now.

This weekend I enjoyed the garden and let life’s small drama’s pass me by as much as possible.  It made for a beautiful weekend, and a lovely ‘now’.

Today is a good day to smile and make eye contact with strangers. Today is a good day to listen to the answers to questions, and hear more than words. Today is a good day to enjoy the spring. Today is a good day for kindness and wonder. Today is a good day to change the world.

Today is the Vernal Equinox. Yes, I always capitalize that. 🙂 What could be more worth celebrating that the changing of seasons? Certainly worthy of a capital letter or two.

Nothing else needs to be said – Spring says all she must without words.

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Welcome, Spring! I know you won’t stay as long as I’d like before Summer crowds you out with more rambunctious fun, but we’ll have fun while you’re here. 🙂

Today is a good day to smile, a good day to pause for flowers, for funny stories, for a moment with a friend. Today is a good day to change the world.