Saturday, June 05, 2010

Doing something I love & have only dreamed about: Landscaping and gardening!

I love Spring! Having lived here on this acre of land for 12 years now, I've always dreamed of doing some outdoor landscaping, gardening, and decorating. Over the years, Don and I have done a little here and there; however most of that has up on our rear deck, accomplished with patio furniture, garden accents, and a few scattered potted plants.  The deck space has never been the place I could always dreamed or imagined it to be in my mind's eye and it is always an ongoing battle and a work-in-progress. Yet somehow, when I'd look out into our back acre from the deck,  it felt so open, and empty .  I always had this sense of knowing, or a feeling, that something was wasn't right, there was something missing, I just didn't know what "it" was.

The property itself is truly beautiful! It is fenced in for privacy; and features many big, beautiful and healthy trees that  help to grace the edges,  border our property, and serve to soften all the rough edges. Yet, there was really nothing there that truly invited you out off of the deck and into the grassy lawn and the world just waiting beyond.  It was missing a focal point and there seemed to be none. Well, except for maybe the  old water garden, and it as you can plainly see, was an eye-sore and it needed a lot of work!
This photograph was taken in May of 2009.  A few hosta's and woodland ferns lived here, but most of it was over-run with weeds! {And an a very unwelcomed mulberry bush that a not-so-kind visiting bird decided to leave us!}  Or perhaps, you'd rather take a long, leisurely stroll out to see the wishing well that did very little to attract anything, except perhaps, my grand-daughter, Alexxis, who insists we walk out there on each of her occassional visits.

As Spring arrived, so did the beautiful backyard song birds; Blue jays, Cardinals, and the Goldfinches with their beautiful sweet voices always in song. While I'd sit on the rear deck enjoying my first cup of coffee in the mornings or in the evenings after dinner, and  I'd hear  and listen to the "cooing calls" of the Mourning Doves, or the sweet lyrical refrains of the Goldfinches, Blue jays, Cardinals, and Robins as they sang their favorite tunes throughout the day and into the twilight. It was there, in those moments spent sitting silently on the deck, that all of this truly began. I suddenly began to realize that while my life was in a seemingly endless turmoil of thoughts, mixed emotions, and had been turned completely upside-down and inside-out with uncontrolable life events, that I found myself spending more and more time out here, many days, and many nights  ----just watching, waiting, sitting, thinking, dreaming, and healing; both on the inside and out.

I soon discovered myself myself hurt and angry by the path that my life was seemingly taking. I felt disappointed, heartbroken, and frustrated with people and things that are were simply beyond my control. I meditated, prolonged my own agony, and said so very many prayers while sitting here and little did I know, I began to heal as the earth came alive and Spring began to bloom and blossom.

After healing from my surgery and slowly gaining my strength back, I began tearing out the rocks that once surrounded the old water garden.  I took all my  hurts, disappointments, and frustrations out on the weeds surrounding it. I dug in with the shovel in anger, removing and tearing out the weeds  that were choking what little life there was left out of the garden, when I realized that like those weeds, were the struggles I was going through. Little did I know it was living through  a pruning process!  I was cutting back the bad things in my life so that the good that was left within me and my heart could grow.

 Soon, the gravel arrived, seeming to feel as raw, cold, and heart-broken as I felt inside. So, I shoveled it in the trough that I had created  and much like my own life, I insulated it with a weedscreen. I realized I couldn't do all, be all to everyone, and I had to set some priorities and boundaries in my personal life.

Once the gravel was in place, there was more bricks to be moved back. It seemed so much like my life, a slow- agonizing process, down a path I didn't desire to be traveling. Day after sweet day, I toiled away there, but somehow I couldn't  help but to stop long enough to wipe the sweat from my brow or the tears from my eyes. It was in those moments, when I'd spot something of interest..... mostly the birds visiting our yard's birdfeeders or a fluttering-by butterfly and I wondered about life, love, family, and God.

One day in May was just like that... I was shoveling weeds outta the vegetable garden when I noticed a newly fallen tree branch in the back of our acre. I couldn't help but stop and be memorized by how the birds seemed to love it. They fluttered about, flying down or up off that branch for a good 15 minutes,  before it hit me to go get that branch and bring it up in the yard to set near the birdbath and feeder. From there, the garden and watergarden area of yard sort of spiraled much like my out-of-control life. Being surrounded by nature nourished my soul in ways I never could possibly imagine.

On trips to Lowes to for roofing materials, I'd discover myself in the garden center, dreaming of what I wanted to do, on days off  from caretaking of my dad, we'd visited an Arboretum and gardens, and make the occasional stop at a garden center, and I purchased my first rose! Purchasing that rose was a God-send to me.. It allowed me to see and remember...

“Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again.” My life is like that.

No comments: