Tuesday, February 09, 2010
I worked in the garden this morning. It's cold out there, but things are waking up even early now in February, and it's so quiet and still, except for the birds.
I sat for awhile with my coffee and toast with strawberry jam, and took it all in. Steam billowed from my coffee, and the cries of a seagull, laughing, echoed in the fog while it came in for a landing on the neighbor's roof.
I've often thought of the massive cutback and clean up of this time of year in the garden as a chore. But as I worked last weekend, I realized that it was more fun to take my time, to be in the moment, to really look at the dirt as I cleared the leaves and debris, and to examine the structure of the plants as they stood as their bare selves.
I saw so much more. I saw the moss and lichen growing on the north facing branches of the trees.
The hyacinths stretching to get more sun as they emerge from the soil. The rose branches that were brown and would benefit from a hard prune. I worked slowly, and methodically, and when I stretched out my spine and stood back, I saw the garden structure, the opportunity, the beauty of what we've created over the last 12 years here, and I was grateful.
This work isn't a chore. It's my meditation, my exercise, my mind's rest. It's my creative muse and creation of beauty. My connection to nature, to wildlife, to my part of Portland and living in the Northwest. It's part of my being.
So I'm trying to do more of it, on a daily basis, in little spurts and bits. This morning I cut back the hardy fuschia, the huge stand of Matilija poppies, sedum, globe thistle, asters, and the David Austin rose. I found beneath it all the new sedum forming little rosettes and begging to be divided, tufts of black mondo grass standing strong and in all of it's dark, true-black glory, and the red veined sorrel forming early leaves.
By the time I was done, my half full cup of coffee on the back porch was stone cold, as were my toes. But a quarter of my side bed was cleared, my blood was rushing, and I had worked through my mental list of tasks, client needs, and began some creative musing for a new client's book layout.
My creativity and connection to self comes easily in the garden. Without the chatter of the radio, twitter, facebook updates, e-mails or text messages. While I may have one leg in that world, I will always have one leg in the garden. And hopefully, more and in these inspiring daily bits.