We have a lovely garden at our home. It is my refuge year around, the place where I go for peace and restoration. I am grateful for my garden because it draws me outside
and away from my work for a brief time each day. From March through November, it’s pleasant to walk among the plants and admire the blooms while soaking up the heat of summer or feeling the invigorating chill of spring or autumn.
But of course the garden requires care.
The plants need nutrients, pruning and water. I must keep a vigilant eye for bugs, slugs, mildew and mold. It’s not nearly as pleasant to have to tend to these as it is to merely observe the beauty of the flowers. It is in tending to the needs of my garden that I feel the most nurtured.
When I look for slugs and bugs, I also discover new growth pushing upward through the soil and am reminded that struggle is part of life. When I inspect for leaf rot and mold, I also spot the promise of tiny buds that will bring forth gorgeous blooms and am reminded that it takes time for good things to be revealed. Mulching or watering reminds me of the value of consistent actions. When I see fully grown and robust weeds where yesterday there were none, I am reminded that our lives can change in an instance. In pulling the weeds, I have time to think about how removing unnecessary things from our lives gives us the space we need to flourish.
Gratitude for Respite
This weekend we finished most of the fall gardening chores. Only the mums are still in bloom, despite Superstorm Sandy and the nor’easter that brought six inches of snow. It was a fair amount of work that yielded four barrels of yard waste that now wait for the garbage men to put in their truck today or tomorrow.
In a couple of weeks we will decorate the garden for Christmas. Even in winter I manage to slip away for brief periods in the early evening to enjoy the lights in the garden and the stars in the sky. Even in winter my garden nurtures my soul because it is in the absence of verdant abundance that I can experience the vastness of the universe. I am reminded that whatever trouble I consider significant is perhaps only tiny when considered from the right perspective.
Yes the garden is work. But I am rewarded by the satisfaction that works brings and by the beauty of the plants. I hope that I will always have a garden. I hope I will always have time to think about the present and to dream about the future.
Life Is Honest, Open and True: Where do you go to think about the challenges in your world? How do you show gratitude for the work that brings you rewards?