Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. ~George Bernard Shaw
Spring has arrived, and I couldn't be happier. I'm spotting hints of new growth at the base of perennials in my backyard, where I replaced lawn with flowerbeds a couple of years ago. It was a big step, doing away with all that grass, but one I've never regretted.
The new version of my backyard requires more work, though. That part is inescapable. There's an endless supply of weeds to pull, which requires that I know the difference between true flowers and sneaky plants like binding weed, which produce pretty pink flowers everywhere. At first, I didn't recognize it as a weed, and by the time it had criss-crossed half my yard, it was well-rooted and energetic, taking over areas where I didn't expect to find it.
I do a lot of thinking in my garden. There's something about busy hands and sunshine-on-the-neck that flips my brain switch to a low, steady hum. It's relaxing. Fulfilling. Some of my best photography work has taken place between my back door and the back fence, too.
After every gardening session, I come away feeling that I've spent my time doing much more than weed-pulling and flower-feeding. Gardening criss-crosses my life and grows me in new directions. I can't think of a better place to untangle stress and solve problems. This quote says it best:
In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful. ~Abram L. Urban