Archives for posts with tag: you’ll find me in the garden

I haven’t been writing as often or as regularly. Are you missing me? I’m sorry. It’s Spring, you see, and this new job… life feels quite busy. Filled with tasks, meetings, conversations with my Traveling Partner about the perfect placement of “bass traps” and how best to fill the house with beautiful music. There are flowers blooming. There are others yet to be planted. Time ticks quickly by without me noticing, and days have gone by, again. πŸ™‚

Primroses in the garden.

Maybe this is simply another step on this long journey? I sip my coffee and look around my studio, here, at home. It’s also my office, and the work day will begin shortly. I feel safe and content in this place – the space, yes, but also this time in my life. How odd. When did this contentment arrive? This odd little “oh, hey, yes, this is who I am” sort of feeling that also feels… okay? When did I find this loving good humor with which to face my relationships? This sense of loving kindness that says “it’s okay that we’re cross with each other right now – it hardly matters because there’s just so much love to be shared” feels new and enduring… has it always been within reach? Is it fragile or likely to fade in some moment of impatience? There’s part of me that wonders how one could ever be cross in the context of this much love… and I smile, remembering that “cross” isn’t really a “state of being” so much as a feeling. Emotional weather, not emotional climate – at least for me, personally, here, now.

…How much have I changed? How is it I still recognize myself at all? (And, how is it I can still make a cup of coffee this damned bad??? LOL)

I sip my coffee and sit with this contentment… contentedly. πŸ™‚

Life is still pretty real. There is no “perfect” to attain. No A+ report card to receive. No ideal state of ease that never demands more of me. Shit breaks. Things need to be maintained. There’s always housekeeping to stay caught up on. Details. In fact, my Traveling Partner sticks his head in the door and gently pleads for assurance that I will “take care of the aquarium today, please?”; the pump is being a bit noisy, and one of the intakes is a bit blocked. I didn’t do my best work with upkeep tasks yesterday, sort of rushing through it between meetings during the work day. I assure him I’ll take care of it on my first break from work this morning; I know that sound grates on his nerves, and I also know that my fish rely on my attention to enjoy a good quality of life. So. No perfect here – and there’s always something that needs doing.

…It’s still important to take breaks, get rest, enjoy leisure, and really savor every lovely pleasant moment life and love offer. It’s a bit like an emotional savings account that is there for me “in case of emergencies” – funding, in a sense, the continued contentment and resilience when things do go sideways – and they will. I’m still very human. I don’t expect that to change.

It’s an utterly ordinary Thursday morning on a work day. This is a fairly ordinary suburban life in a small town in 21st century America. Nonetheless… there is much to do with the day ahead, and it wants a beginning. πŸ™‚ Am I ready? Does that even matter? πŸ˜‰ If I’m not – I can begin again.

It’s definitely Spring, now. Tiny green leaves are unfolding from swellings that became small buds on so many of the trees and shrubs! There is a green “mist” of unfolding forming in the view beyond the deck. Green things sprouting from the damp of the forest floor. Swampy ground becoming more firm. Little birds everywhere. My flower beds still reflect the sales-appeal-focused (simple, but hardy and low maintenance) plantings that were in place when we bought the house. (I’ve added very little, so far, planting only some dahlia tubers and a bare root rose that arrived a bit ahead of my expectations.) The primroses reflect a lack of care in color choices. They are still lovely, and blooming like they’ll only get one shot at it, ever.

Simple, lovely, enduring – and so beautiful in the Spring sunshine!

There are other wonders to come; flowers that have sent up leaves, blades, stalks, some with buds… I wait to see what flowers open next.

Next weekend seems the likely one for planting the rest of the container roses into the garden beds. It would be nice to tell them so, and know whether they are eager to stretch their roots, or have any thoughts on placement… fanciful musings over coffee on a Sunday morning.

My Traveling Partner has spent much of this new Spring cleaning things, tidying, bringing order to chaos – even “tuning the sound stage” in our living room, and finishing some dΓ©cor and design plans we’d made when we moved in (all delayed by the unexpected water damage and resulting fuss and bother after the AC was installed). He’s added acoustic treatments that removed the notable echo in the living room, and refined the placement of various objects to even further improve our listening (and viewing) experiences. It’s gorgeous and sounds wonderful.

…Every time I step into the living room, now, I grin so hard my face hurts. I feel very loved. I’m enjoying our considerable collection of music all over again, as if it were new. It definitely feels like Spring…

Pain? Pain is pain. That’s still a thing I live with. I shrug it off when I can. I attempt to be patient with myself and people around me when I can’t. I try to be consistent with my self-care and pain management. Work? Work is still work. I still work – it’s a necessary part of my life, for now. I like the new job – honestly? I like it enough that my enthusiasm for the work collides with my desire to hang out with my partner, and sort of drains away any time I may have planned for writing, for painting, for most endeavors that are not work, or time with my partner, or necessary housekeeping to keep those parts of life running most smoothly. lol Self-care fail? Yeah, admittedly. Small now… but it is the sort of thing that can fester over time and become chronic resentment, utterly without ever intending it. I keep an eye on it, and this morning, in a small inconsequential moment of disharmony, I acknowledged the opportunity and stepped away to write a bit.

…French toast later…

There’s often a new beginning just ahead. A choice. An opportunity. A whim. A change – desired, chosen, or inflicted. A moment of inspiration. A moment just being.

…This coffee is good, itself a new beginning of sorts…

…What about this moment? This blog post? These words? More beginnings…? I think maybe, yes…

I think about photos, songs, moments… and I think about love.

Thank you, Love “Contemplation” 12″ x 16″ acrylic and iron oxide. August 2011

A new beginning can be a bit scary, sometimes. Too often I have found myself hesitant to walk away from something that just doesn’t work for me. You too? I admit, it’s also often true that once I’ve taken that first step, life unfolds with less effort when I choose well – based on my values, and the real truths of my heart (and reality), and take those steps in the direction I actually want to go. Worth the moment of anxiety, doubt, insecurity, or fearfulness? Very much so; that’s just a moment, and it doesn’t last. Life, when we’re most fortunate, continues on beyond that moment. πŸ™‚

…This coffee is just about gone… French toast is sounding pretty good… it may be time to begin again. πŸ˜€

Well, not literally ‘new eyes’, new awareness is more accurate. It’s been a good weekend for awareness. Spring is on the horizon, too, and my thoughts are full of seeds, flowers, rose bushes, trees that want a bit of pruning, and rich brown earth waiting to be turned, amended, and planted.

A promise of sunny days to come.

A promise of sunny days to come.

This weekend I could be found in the garden. In the rain as often as not, and yes, in the garden. I pruned the plum-tree out by the back fence; two summers I have fussed about tangled low-hanging branches, and the challenges of gathering the tasty fruit. This weekend I took care of that, with love and attention, and aware that soon each branch would be leafy and heavy with fruit. Each cut I made was focused on the tree-right-now, and also on a desired form of tree-later-than-now. It was as much meditation as labor, and I delighted in the experience.

I took time to prune tangled roses and potato vine at the corners of the deck, tying up long graceful canes and branches when I’d completed the pruning. I’m eager to see the outcome, in summer, with leaves and flowers everywhere.

I mixed a couple of favorite blends of wildflower seeds, with some favorite annual garden flowers much less ‘wild’, and eagerly filled pots with rich soil and compost, and a few seeds. (It’s nice to have some containers of living flowers that I can easily move here and there depending on what we’re doing in the garden.) I sowed flower seeds in a couple of borders, and along the barren bank of a small hill that I stared at with some annoyance all summer last year; surely some hardy wild flowers will grow there? I tucked dahlia bulbs between jasmine and clematis vines, near a bit of deck trellis that supports hanging pots that are seeded with nasturtiums and sweet peas. There should be a lot of flowers this year…

‘Should’ is a funny word. It sets the stage for our unfounded expectations, resting them on an illusion of a foundation – a magical world where things do what we imagine they ought to do, for some mysterious ‘reason’, because they ‘should’. I caught myself yesterday, thinking ‘there should be a lot of flowers this year…’ Β As opposed to last year? When I also planted a lot of seeds? Sure – but last year I wasn’t as patient with the real work of gardening, and often lacked the will to really dig in and push my effort beyond the lethargy and ennui that is often the most obvious byproduct of ‘OPD’ (Other People’s Drama). This year, I am willing to smile at the seeds, the future flowers, the vines that need pruning right now, the roses that want to be prepared for that early bout of black spot in the spring, and understand the work of Love, and the work in the garden, are the same work; tending the needs of Life to grow and thrive. I may have a lot of flowers this year. My garden has that potential. Surely, rather than ‘should’, what I have is ‘may’ – and my will is predictably a factor there, as are my choices. If I don’t water, tend the plants, dead head the roses, harvest fruits, my garden will predictably be less vibrant, less productive, and less ‘full of flowers’. So simple.

There is always work to do in the garden. If I envision an outcome, my effort makes it more likely. If I dread a particular disaster, my effort to prepare and mitigate reduces the effect that disaster may have. If I am stressed, having my hands in the soil, and among the leaves and flowers, soothes my heart. There are a lot of verbs in my garden. Seeing the work of the garden through eyes that resent labor or effort, or feel only the weight of the work, and the commitment, can make it all seem so overwhelming, and a bit lacking in any chance of completion. Seeing the work of the garden through new eyes, each task becomes its own joy, its own moment to be one with Life.

There have been years when my garden held the entirety of what was sane and whole about me in its fragile eco-system. That’s a big burden for small flowers, and it worked out mostly pretty well; here I am. I cherish my garden, each flower, each tree, each paving stone and feeder. Now I get how much more the journey matters than the destination, and even sitting down to prune a potted rose on a rainy day, or slog through a muddy yard to plant wild flowers on a slope, or hang baskets that will soon be filled with flowers, there is joy and satisfaction in each task. I’m no longer frantically working toward a finish line; I’m just working, right now.

My garden is also filled with metaphors. Change. Sufficiency. Joy. Life. Love. All the best things emotion and heart and mindfulness have to offer are right there in the garden, for me. Life’s darker lessons have their moment in the garden, too, and I see them all through new eyes.

Another work week begins, and time to tend a very different sort of garden. πŸ™‚