Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Monday June 6th - Changing the Landscape
Over the past few weeks, my husband and I have been working on our backyard. This has entailed many things that I do not particularly enjoy or have the patience for. When I think of yard work, what comes to mind is not trenching and drip lines, retaining walls or wheelbarrows of topsoil. In my naivety, yard work was going out with my linen pants and a lemonade, snipping beautiful flowers into the basket over my arm to make lovely arrangements. The most difficult thing I imagined was coming across a wayward cutworm or having to deadhead some petunias. But, reality beckons and I have the dirt encrusted fingernails and bruised wrists to prove that the foundation hardscape is in. Sadly, I think that it has paralleled in many ways my approach to my life. I've wanted the showy blooms and fruits of labor that I hadn't put time into the hardscape for. It has shown itself much the way a lavish sprinkling of seeds would only produce blooms in a field of weeds. The blooms and beauty would be choked out at some point. Maybe that's where I've been. There have been moments of beauty and fleeting glimpses of healthy growth...but along the way, I've stumbled onto the shallow nature of the garden I've plotted. So, this past while has been very much about changing the landscape of my own garden. It's not easy to work around the small bits of beauty but I've been trying. Most of the time, the beautiful things have had to have been uprooted in an effort to provide the next seeds a longer, healthier existence. The clay that clings to the roots and smothers them has to be amended. I'm making those amendments one by one in my own life. It requires a lot of attention and not a lot of reward at this point.Like my yard, I'm very close to being ready to plant again. I'm excited and investigative in the things I wish to plant in my garden. What I don't want is to rush in and plant things without forethought and end up having showy blooms that don't appeal to me at all. I don't want colour for the sake of colour much in the way that I don't want things that are attractive to others but don't represent my true self at all. I don't want people to look at it as a showpiece, I want it to show the enjoyment I get from the plants and their real worth. I don't want a suburban facade that says I'm well manicured and untouchable. If anything, I'm a bit on the muddy side and a little grimy under the nails. I want things that are symbiotic and grow in beauty together. Living generously and loving Africa. Being responsible for my own spiritual growth and nurturing the boys' along as well. Practicing solitude but living in community. A little untamed growth instead of manicured perfection.So, I'm wondering what this time will produce in my life. I know that there is great possibility that I will be moving on from here and this garden will be left to the next homeowner but it doesn't make me want to scrimp a bit. If anything, it makes it more urgent that I leave something of myself behind in it.