Friday, August 25, 2006

I wanted control...I got anarchy. I wanted stability...I got chaos.....*sigh*....good thing I have a relaxing hobby. But why gardening? When I think about it, there's really no control or stability in the gardening experience-all you can really do is try and just hope for the best. So of all the spare time activities, why the heck did I choose this? I've been pondering this lately, due to the state of the world currently, and my own life more recently. I like to delude myself that I'm not a control freak...but I usually like to have a plan of some sort in most things, and am quite happy being single and "captain of my own ship". So why do I garden, when my best laid plans ritually go awry, and "having a plan" is just laughable. I believe it's the exercise of learning to live with the unexpected, to realize that having little or no control over the outcome is actually okay. For example...with my job and lengthy daily commute, I often cannot keep up with weeding, and refuse to use chemicals to assist the process. But from the "weeds" I'm often blessed with amazing volunteer wildflowers-especially since I feed birds (they bring seeds in on their feet and in their droppings). So I've learned to relax and just wait to see what materializes during the season, pulling only things I'm certain to be weeds. And how about the disappointment (even rage) when a plant you are really excited about and nurturing ever so carefully along is decapitated by some #@#&* varmint?! I've even learned to be patient and relax about that, also, by taking a page from the "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger" book. My lazy streak helps here-by not immediatey replacing the mangled plant with something new, I've discovered that often the absent top growth causes the root structure to go into "survival mode", and the plant often returns bigger than ever-if not that same season, the next year. And when stuff actually does die off, I've learned that there's a lot of satisfaction in seeking out plants that don't need so much TLC to survive. In fact, if I put more effort in amending my soil (with horse manure), the plants have the "tools" to care for themselves-as well as increasing beneficial bugs and amphibians to thwart bad bugs. (This makes my lazy me very happy-less work in the long run!) I guess to be reminded that letting go of control is ultimately okay in the garden, translates some peace to other aspects of my life as well. But I find the biggest benefit is feeling more connected to the earth and the rest of the "natural world"...feeling the wind, watching the birds and animals, realizing we are only part of the earth-not the rulers or controllers. That no matter what kind of crap comes out of the TV, something really big and important is going on outside, in the natural rhythms of the earth...and it's very rejuventing to plug back into that. It makes everything else seem very small and insignificant...especially the tribulations of everyday life. Wow....I feel better just thinking about it...think I'll take a walk outside at lunch today-even if it's still raining...

2 comments:

snappy said...

Very thoughtful post.I will write a response one i think on my blog page.You are a writer..

lisa said...

Thank you, snappy!