Today is my birthday!
As I reflect on the year that is just about to come to a close. I feel a sense of gratitude. Gratitude for what I have in my life – and this includes my garden. Sure, there have been challenges throughout the year (and times that I’m not practicing an attitude of gratitude at all!) but I feel that because I’m generally content and appreciative with what I do have, it makes those challenges not seem so world ending.
My garden has taught me so much this year. In January we had major flooding in our area and the garden was waterlogged. My veggie patch looked very sad. But even amongst this, I would observe the different types of fungi that would emerge in the morning and notice the way rain droplets would look on a flower petal. It was a different type of beauty. And I was grateful that although we had roads cut by flood waters, I live in a town where community spirit is high. One afternoon, there were a lot of people helping a neighbour move her belongings as her house was threatened by the rising water.
Spending time in the garden has become a part of my morning routine. Which is a great way to start my day. The time doesn’t have to be long – it can just be 5 minutes. Or sometimes, it’s 30 minutes. It depends on how early I’m out there. Most of the time, I try to observe and appreciate what is happening in my garden….the little details as well – like the colour of a zucchini leaf, the way a watermelon plant is rambling, the ladybug hidden amongst the flowers, the lemon balm turning yellow and not looking happy… – I could go on.
I also have moments of seeing the bigger picture, while I’m in my garden. Visualizing and dreaming about what can go where, how it could look…I have loads of ideas – I don’t always put them into action, but I enjoy the imaginative process. Next year, I would love to start a garden journal where I capture these ideas on paper.
As part of the big picture, I have come to realise that where I live is a gorgeous part of the world. When my kids and I are hanging out in the garden (which is most of the time on the weekends), I often have moments of gratitude that they have a clean and open space to play in and just be. The garden allows them to let their imaginations run wild. They love to create fun games with what’s available to them in the garden. I appreciate that they can watch beans grow and pick carrots straight from the soil.
This year, I have also learnt to not compare my garden with others. I would read a Gardening Australia magazine or see all these wonderful gardens online and wish that I had a garden like that. That comparison made me lose sight of the actual garden I do have and how wonderful it is. I’m not saying I don’t get inspired anymore by others gardens because I do. I love reading about them and seeing photos, but I don’t have that ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ attitude anymore.
I am not always a content, grateful and happy person – ask my kids I can be quite grumpy! But what I have found out this year is I really love my garden. Nurturing and continuing to develop a connection with my garden has had some really positive effects on me that I find that quite wonderful.
May your garden continue to thrive and delight in 2014.