Archives for posts with tag: tending the garden of my heart

My Traveling Partner and I celebrated our anniversary this past weekend. 11 years as lovers, 10 years married. We didn’t do much about it, aside from noting the moment together, enjoying each other’s cooking, hanging out, and spending precious moments together. It was a very human experience; we also took turns dealing with our own, and each other’s, physical pain, and occasional off notes in love’s symphony. lol So human. We enjoyed good conversation, a deep connection, abiding affecting for each other, and some great music. Again, nothing particularly fancy or extraordinary, and with the pandemic being what it is, we spent our time together at home. 🙂 It is enough.

On one of my walks, I noticed the wild roses preparing to bloom. So soon?

It was a lovely weekend, and that’s how I remember it when I look back, in spite of being also aware that there were some moments I could have handled better (and some that perhaps he could have handled better). Yesterday I was in so much pain, generally, that by day’s end I’d maxed out on OTC and Rx pain relief, and still hurt enough to just call it a day quite early, thinking I’d just read quietly until whenever I felt sleepy… I don’t think I ever even picked up a book (or my Kindle).

I woke ahead of the alarm, with that painful day quite behind me, and an entirely new day ahead of me. I got up. Dressed. Went for my walk. Returned. Showered. Made coffee. Greeted my partner as he started his day. Now… here I am. 🙂 Sipping my coffee. Writing. Simple verbs. An ordinary morning.

Which moments are worth celebrating? Milestones like anniversaries seem an obvious choice. Perhaps it is less obvious to celebrate a routine pleasant Monday morning and a good cup of coffee? There are so many moments of suffering in a human life… I find value in celebrating even the small successes, and easy wins. Doesn’t seem to do me any harm to do so, and it tends to fill my day-to-day experience with small celebrations, which, generally, is quite pleasant. So… I do. 🙂

“The Alchymist” finally has a proper home in my garden. 🙂 Worth a moment to celebrate a very long journey to “home”.

A neighbor gave me a hand digging the hole for my only full-size potted rose, yesterday. I didn’t expect it, and was astonished that it was done so quickly. It was splendid to successfully replant The Alchymist into the garden from the big nursery pot it has endured for so long. 6 years? 7? (Could be going on 10…) I smile thinking of the remaining 3 roses that will go into the ground this Spring. I’m delighted that I have, thus far, managed each replanting without killing new growth, tearing off or breaking new shoots, or knocking off buds. 🙂

I was surprised how many buds there were on the long graceful canes of The Alchymist, already. Last year it only had one flower. LOL

…Small celebrations…

I remind myself to take a moment for life’s goodness, however humble, and to celebrate successes, however small. These moments are worthy of taking note, of savoring, of really enjoying – however brief they may seem, however modest in scale. An amazing, beautiful life can be built on small moments. 🙂

…And already it is time to begin again. 🙂 What are you celebrating, today?

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.

Waking up was hard again this morning. I don’t know what’s been driving these groggy mornings; they seem associated with deeper sleep, and sleeping through the night. Is the trade-off worth it? Well… perhaps, all but the first hour or two of the morning, when I am finding myself struggling to wake up, to remember medication, to drag myself through yoga, a shower, and making coffee… Once I am really awake, it’s no longer of any concern and doesn’t seem to affect my day. (Damn it – ‘affect’ or ‘effect’??)

I am waiting for water to heat up for coffee – it feels like a long wait. Rationally, I know that the water likely takes approximately the same time to boil each morning – or close enough that I would not be able to tell the difference without some sort of calibrated measuring device. Still, subjectively, from the perspective of a groggy morning, it seems quite forever taking.  I wait and consider the evening shared with my traveling partner, and smile.

We had a great time together: dinner out, and back to my place for some hang out time, and a show. We enjoy each other a great deal, and the time was well-spent. He’ll be away the weekend – we both definitely wanted to get some time together before he went. Thinking of his weekend out-of-town, I suddenly miss him dreadfully – even though I know that A.) his geographical location has not yet changed and B.) if it had, it wouldn’t be different for my experience right now in any practical way. Emotions don’t sign up for classes in logic and reason – they have their own way. It is a wonder to me how deep the connection we share is. I smile recalling his ‘complaint’ that he does not want to be put on a pedestal, that he is ‘just this guy’. I never can quite communicate that I am well aware of his humanity, and although I adore him well beyond any reasonable measure – I’m adoring a man, a human being, flaws and all. That’s okay with me. I know his heart. I’ve never needed him to be more than the man he is – I like that man, enjoy him, and hope to share the journey a good long way.

I smile. Sip my coffee. Let my thoughts move on.

It’s almost 6:00 am these days before the sky looks as it did shortly before 5:00 am, when I moved in here. 76 days of finding my own way – most of them alone, and most of them quite content and comfortable. 76 days of meditation, of writing, of walking, thinking, working, sleeping… 76 days of living, of thriving, and being this woman in the mirror. 76 days of living in a household where 100% of every adult is completely supportive of the health, wellness, and quality of life everyone else in the household, the goals are shared, and everyone is committed to The Big 5 values (respect, consideration, reciprocity, compassion, and openness) and making a commitment of both will and action to treat everyone else well…

What could be more worthy than being the woman I am in the most authentic possible way? There are no others quite like me.

What could be more worthy than being the woman I am in the most authentic possible way? There are no others quite like me.

 

I went on to write considerably more, but recognized that at some point I had begun to write in a detailed way about a prior predictable train wreck of a relationship. Poignant and heartfelt words – but a serious overshare with potential to be hurtful in ways I would not be skillful at identifying. Where break ups have been concerned I have maintained an adult practice of not pouring gasoline on fires, not rubbing salt in wounds, and making every possible effort to continue to practice The Big 5; I avoid venting about prior relationships because it is pointless, ugly, and reduces me to acting on base impulses.  I find that needlessly hurtful, and try to ‘be the good guy’ in a legitimate sincere way. When I face the woman in the mirror I don’t want to have to make excuses for my behavior later, or rationalize how some bit of nastiness ‘is okay because they…’ – because making the excuse doesn’t really excuse the bad act, the poor behavior, or the meanness, and all those things are loaded with potential to diminish me as a human being. This life is my journey, and I’d like to make it a good one. I’d rather continue to be compassionate, to be reasonable, to seek understanding – and to take care of me by not investing further in relationships that are damaging to my mental, emotional, or physical health. No drama required. It’s unnecessary; it is by our behavior that the world knows us, the words are extra.

Where will my path take me?

Where will my path take me?

The weekend ahead has my attention. My traveling partner will be away. The summer weather is forecast to be summer – but not an inconveniently health-threatening inferno. I am geared up to go camping, myself, and having my traveling partner’s car for the weekend I also have more options. Where will the weekend take me? I don’t yet know the answer to that question – but I know I’ll come back with pictures!

Today is a good day to explore the options. Today is a good day to remember that taking shit personally is a choice. Today is a good day to appreciate the things that work. Today is a good day to recognize what isn’t working – and do something else. Today is a good day to change the world.