My favorite time of year is late spring early summer. I love the feeling of the warmth of the sun and the scent of the flowers that are blooming. My back yard at dusk is just a bit of heaven. Lilacs are in full bloom and my Iris are starting to ramp up their unfurling as well. My favorite perfume of nature. My lower lot between the chicken area and my vegetable garden is turning in to a painting of bright orange poppies and soon the rambling yellow roses will start opening as well. I love it. It is what my soul sings for during the coldest winter days.
All the gorgeous flowers don’t come without work though. The Iris are low maintenance for sure, but everything needs watered. Grass seems to grow best in flower beds instead of the lawn. There is always something more to do outside, and the window of time is narrow. It is easy to find yourself scrambling to squeeze in a little weed pulling or lawn mowing and it is even easier to feel bothered and stressed out by it all. Once upon a time a certain someone from my past life decided that one of the main reasons he didn’t want to own his own home was because he didn’t want to have to mess with the lawn or flowers or anything like that. There are times I can see his point of view. It very easily turns into one more thing that has to be done in an already busy schedule.
Five years ago when I first moved home, I had a lot of free time on my hands. I had no job, I lived with Mom, Dad, and Grandma Donna, and was collecting unemployment. I spent several days worth of hours crocheting ruffled scarves as part of my divorce therapy. I got pretty good at it too – one episode of NCIS or Criminal Minds and I was cranking out a scarf per episode. I got tired of sitting though. So I started to help out in the garden. I pulled a lot of weeds. I mowed a lot as well down at Grandma Darlene’s. I worked on a few flower beds as well that hadn’t had a lot of attention. I started to really enjoy my time in the dirt. I learned something I had forgotten about myself. I LOVE playing in the dirt!
Skip to 2016 when I had moved into Grandma Darlene’s as started my own garden. I was starting to really process the abuse and everything that I had gone through in my past life, and I was willing to do pretty much anything to avoid sitting in the house and missing my grandma. I spent hours, music playing in my ears, sitting in the dirt pulling weeds. My mind was processing everything else. Pull a weed; digest a situation I had been in years before. Dig a weed; imagine grandma and grandpa sitting there pulling weeds with me. Plant a seed; think of a plot line for a story. Adjust my gloves, and repeat.
My neighbor always hesitated to approach me while I was in weeding mode, she said it looked like I was always in deep thought; which was true, but I always have time for neighbors. I loved the feeling of accomplishment of looking at back and seeing the weeds gone and the beautiful rich dirt ready for tilling or planting.
It is one of the most peaceful feelings I have ever experienced, letting everything go, and connecting with nature. It’s more than just the dirt. This is the area where my grandpa had his garden many years ago. I dig in the dirt that he once dug in. I’m killing plants where he once killed plants (honestly i don’t think he ever killed any plants, he was magic). I have had to resort to a tall fence to provide protection from the herds of deer that meander through the lot, but it is still the same place. I lost grandpa in 1996 to cancer and have missed him more than I realized. Now that grandma is with him, I feel like the garden not only has given me a place to bury my troubles, but it also connects me to them in a way that I never expected. I can sit on the rock wall in the back and inhale the warm fragrant air and almost hear them talking in the breeze. While I live alone, I don’t often actually feel alone. There are many things I probably shouldn’t have done during the early stages of my healing (looking at you online shopping), but gardening is not one of those things (well, maybe not all the ‘clearance’ plants at Walmart…). I have found peace and grounding. Perhaps that’s the reason that I have plants in all rooms of my house. Gardening of any kind makes me feel connected. I can’t garden year round in the way that is most therapeutic, so I must do it in any way that I can. I highly recommend anyone who has anxiety to find a garden plot full of weeds and set to work, one weed at a time. It narrows your focus down onto one task and you can do more than you realize. It’s also a really good way to avoid house work. Vitamin G cannot be overdosed and is best in high volumes.