Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A gift the garden gave me today

I wrote a little something the other day to a friend, about the gifts the garden is giving this time of year.

 So much to be done. 
Having longer days, full of sunshine, to do it in.
It's coming alive, and so am I. I breathe deeply, hold, and exhale deeply.

If I do a long scan on the garden, the list of to-dos is endless. When I begin to pull weeds and unwanted seedlings (aren't unwanted seedlings weeds, et tu brute?) I can feel the anxiousness rise in my chest. My eyes dart a little further to the left and right, and the work is overwhelming. So much. How can I possibly get all of this done? In the past, I've just given up and walked away, telling myself my garden is a cottage garden, meant to be imperfect and flouncy. But that's giving in to it.

Yesterday I found myself head down in a bed full of weeds and errant tall grass (ugh!), and I talked myself down. "Stay in your lane, stay present, stay right here with only what's in front of you." And I smiled. These are life skills. When my workload is full, I stay with just one item on my list and focus only on that. And so it is in the garden. I stayed present. I smiled to myself. I only did what was immediately in front of me, and not with anxious frustration, but with gratitude for recognizing what was going on. The gift is to be present, right then and there. To rid just that 3x3 foot section of the numerous seeded daisies, grass and unnamed weeds (those ones with elastic roots). To feel the sunshine on my shoulders, the needed stretch in my tight lower back, and a life that affords me a work break to spend this time in the middle of the morning on a weekday in my garden. This gift was so much better than this morning's gift a stranger left in our parking strip: an overflowing dirty diaper.

1 comment:

e said...

I have that struggle too. One of my ways of coping with the overwhelming nature of yardwork is to pick one thing - one species of weed, say - and pull them all. I did that with the popweed early this spring, and it is paying off now!

Also, like you, reducing the size of what I can realistically accomplish and thereby feeling gratification when I do. It's essential to feel the good part of yardwork!