Saturday, May 30, 2009

Picture of grace... transformation

Picture of grace...
Originally uploaded by shorthorse

Early on a Saturday morning I came across this photo, Picture of Grace, by my Flickr friend Shorthorse.

I left this comment: "I will try to be graceful in my garden today." (click on the photo to see the response I got)

Then I went out into the garden. two thoughts tried to stay in my wondering brain.

Be mindful of your body and how it moves. I was entering into a backyard full of dead squirrels and weeds and who knows what else. A few days earlier my sister-in-law came over while I was at work and I was hoping she wouldn't see the backyard. I planned to be there all day with as many breaks as I could give myself. I thought of dancers and how they must be so aware of their bodies. I tried to be with mine. Then again on Memorial Day and then this weekend.

It is about transformation... the garden is unfolding over time. At one point, I roamed about the back yard where I counted 37 perennials and six shrubs which I have added since we moved here a few years back. It has been a process of slowly filling in the backyard, which started by taking down an invasive tree (Norway Maple) and spending a spring with a pick axe digging out its roots which were spread out just under the surface.

I planted 12 tomato plants and eight pepper plants. I added a few perennials and many annuals. I cut flowers for a vase in our kitchen. I added azaleas to an area that had been weeds. I harvested 1.5 pounds of leeks which had survived the winter then planted Cosmos where they had been. I created a larger arrangement of flowers with ones that came into being this week. I sat and weeded the bed of Hostas which had I moved out of the front yard to fill in along the shady shady shady side of the house. I weeded and swept and weeded and swept the brick patio. I watched robins and catbirds and bees and worms and beetles. I drove to work on a Saturday to water plants in the greenhouse and I brought home seeds for green beans and zucchini and cilantro. I took ornamental grasses to work and came home with our porch plants, which over winter in my classroom. I added some Coleus and Torrenia to the area with the Azeleas. I hauled compost and mulch into and weeds out of the garden... and I thought about my body. and how it moved.

Three days and it has been transformed into a garden that keeps calling my name. in fact, as I finish this on Sunday morning, I have some time... there are those Anaheim Chiles I brought home yesterday, and the front yard needs some weeding, and that area back by the garage...



  1. Just reading this post is making me tired. It sounds beautiful though.

    In my garden, I've been managing to keep it at small enough sessions that my body hasn't revolted yet. Some of it is beautiful but I think I've surrendered the fence garden to the weed's again this year. Of course, the Dame's Rocket (a beautiful weed) is stunning this time of year but the rest of it needs a better gardener.

    Did you go for the pink tutu or just the attitude?

  2. Oh Wow.. You really made my day Stratoz! I'm having a ball of a time picturing you pottering about in your garden with balletic hand & leg moves ala Swan Lake with a pot here & a weed there .... I'm sure all your hard work will be rewarded with great pics of your flowers & your garden... I look forward to seeing them

    .... & I feel so honoured that I had a small part in the process of growing your garden... even if it is in influencing your attitude..ahahahahah!!!!

    Thank you so much Stratoz... ! Love Mei (Shorthorse)

    p.s. you sure I can't convince you on the pink tutu ... or maybe you prefer it in blue?

  3. You may have already caught Tim's post (A Glimpse of Jesus) where he speaks of what gardening seems to bring unto our soul. I was reminded of it in your words here. As I said to him, I'm not so sure that we "find Him" in the fruit of such labor, as it is that, in putting our souls into the task, We meet with Him out of an inner well. Tutu be sure, I find it so any time, any place, when I tend to decrease that He might increase....

  4. All-- as for the tutu, let me say that there are no photos, however, I find gardening in ballet tights is awkward enough ;')

    Kathryn --- there are spaces in my yard that probably will be left unplanted this year. It is being transformed at the rate that my body can handle. keep giving yourself breaks.

    Mei--- yes, you can count on flower photos. as for balletic moves by this guy... ;') You are very welcome for the mention here. Your photos are most wonderful. I am glad I could share one with my friends.

    Jim--- It is a task that keeps this floating mind somewhat focus, but I do tend to move from this to that and then back to this. A friend at work would call it meditation. Anything that connects us to creation in a mindful manner... must be walking down the right path.

  5. I love the details you've included in this wonderful grace-filled narration of spring work in your garden. And the dialogue on the photo so tickled my funny bone that I had to leave a comment of my own.

    Where I live, we are advised to wait until after memorial day to plant but this year I should have continued to wait. Every night for six days I've had to cover my plants because of frost warnings.

  6. Beryl--- you folk need even more patience than we do. we had a near frost the day after the "all safe" date here in PA. But I was so far behind I had nothing to cover.

  7. I'm still waiting for a little heat before I take the planting plunge. It's been the coldest spring on record I think.

    I have a sister that is like you, Wayne, (not that she dances or anything ;) ) but she knows every plant's name, genus and phylum, yada, yada. So I often rely on her to help plan my yard and garden. Basically, my job is to say: "So where do you want I should dig the hole, lady?" She's the brains and I'm the muscle.

  8. ...the garden sounds lovely, in all seasons!

  9. Daisy--- she is only like me that she often stares at a plant and says, "what is your name?"

    Michelle--- I had thoughts of getting out there after I got home... but only thoughts.


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