There are few things I enjoy more than gardening. It’s the best therapy for a busy mind. When I’m having a hard time settling my brain to a more normal spin, nothing helps more than going out into the garden or the to the flower pots and tending. I find that the focus required is enough to quiet my thoughts into a more concise and logical flow.
It’s so important that we all find some way to recharge and seriously reorganize all the jumble that fills our heads every day. We collect so much information – useful and not so much – it’s no wonder we often feel we are spiraling out of control. It’s why my kid gives me the “you never listen” look. “I can’t; I’ve got 50,000 other things floating around in my head. Let me deadhead the petunias and I’ll be right back with you.”
The care and focus required in gardening may seem minimal. It may even seem trivial or menial or any other kind of ‘al” you can think of. I don’t feel that way; but if it is, that is quite possibly the magic of it. To be able to concentrate on something somewhat simplistic is a joy I’d encourage everyone to experience.
I’ve always had flowers. I love the color and aroma and being able to watch the seasons from spring to fall play out in my yard. I love acquiring new plants and watching them thrive as they mature and blossom. I love trimming them knowing that a snip here or there will make my plants healthier and more beautiful. And yes, I do get compliments on my beautiful gardens to which I credit the prior owner for the initial plantings, but the enjoyment is mostly my own. It’s the peacefulness of admiring the colors and scents that is why I love them. It’s thinking about the care of each plant that allows me to slow down and simply breathe.
This year, I added a vegetable garden. I haven’t had one in several years and this is the first one in my new house. It’s a small one; I won’t be feeding the neighborhood but if judging by the enjoyment I’ve gotten out of it so far, it seems like 40 acres. Even the dogs know understand “let’s go visit the garden” means a trip to the other side of the garage. “Stay off the cucumber vine” is still a phrase we’re working on.
Weeding and caring for veggies may not seem fun, but getting some dirt under your (albeit blue) fingernails is rewarding. It’s calming. It’s a time where I can focus on the task at hand and not the 50 waiting for me when I step out of the garden. Finding the tiny cukes or the surprise zucchini (not my zucchini plant) is exciting! I spied one this morning and have been deciding on a recipe since!
I’ve never walked away from my garden feeling tense or angry although I’ve gone to it near tears and frustrated beyond reason. I’ve found it a place of peace and healing. A place where a busy brain can slow and all the weirdness and insanity of the day can be properly filed away. It’s a sanctuary. A safe harbor. A refuge. It’s my happy place.
See you in the garden!