Garden of Ideas

This past weekend was utterly beautiful where I live. Spring-i-ness in all it’s glory. Honestly, if I didn’t have errands to do during the week and a family to take care of, I’d probably spend these early spring days just driving around aimlessly. It’s just SO green everywhere. Two weeks ago there were no leaves, now every tree is awash in that fabulous, optimistic chartreuse green. Bubblegum pink and snowy white dogwoods are dappling yards, azaleas are just balls of intense color and lawns look so lush and cool that you can almost feel your toes nestle in the grass simply by looking at them. It’s simply intoxicating to me.

And Saturday was a fluke of a day-we had NOTHING planned. Not a single solitary thing. When. Does. That. Ever. Happen? We all loved it. The whole family just flowed…in and out of the house…in the grass…onto scooters now….play in the yard…have some lunch…sit in the sun. There was no squabbling, no kvetching. It was a harmonious day. And what did I do? I gardened. All day long. I had been looking forward to this all week and my little dream came true yesterday. Somehow, nothing interrupted it. Even the air was the perfect temp. I wore jeans which warmed up in the sun and there was a crisp breeze to keep this hunched-over gardener cool and energized. Since we had been away, the grass chose that week to grow about 5 inches, weeds sprung up in every nook and cranny and our yard looked, until yesterday afternoon, like Tobacco Road. The grass is now cut and all but one bed has been weeded. Some plants have been transplanted. A new bed has even been started.

What I realized later in the afternoon is that I had spent a good deal of the day meditating and I didn’t even know it at the time. Yes, there is meditating where you sit on a pillow, close your eyes, and not think, not think, not think. BUT, then there is meditation where you get so engrossed with what you are doing that all else falls away and you are totally just in your thoughts. Thankfully, my children are old enough to not have to watch every minute out in the yard. At one point, I noticed that I had weeded an entire flower bed and done it on auto-pilot. My mind had wandered to a variety of places and I had even figured some things out that had been puzzling me. I made revelations about my week. About some people that I know. About some thoughts that I didn’t even know what to do with. And I know, this all sounds very anti-yogi: that usual idea that you devote yourself to one thing at a time and focus with all that you have on that one thing. That should have been my gardening. But the gardening was simply just the anchor for those thoughts yesterday. It was the place to stay tied to but also to return to. Does that make sense? I walked away from the day with refreshed both physically and emotionally. Some thoughts still bothered me, but I had given them their due in mulling them over.

Some people experience this when they cook. Or paint. Or listen to music. Saturday, it was gardening for me. Digging in the dirt. Having the scents of lemon thyme and lavender waft under my nose as I dug around them. Feeling the crunch of the old leaves from the autumn under my fingers. Seeing the new sprouts of the Siberian irises that I’ve been waiting to see all winter. They were all wonderful springboards.

Thank you, garden of mine. What is yours?

(Tomorrow: Mah-velous muffins, dah-ling!)

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