Remembering yourself

I read this poem my Mary Oliver several weeks ago, and it’s been resonating in me since.

The Journey, by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.

Continue reading Remembering yourself

Why do I garden?

Why do I garden?

That’s one of the questions people will ask when my passion for growing eventually — okay, instantly — finds its way into conversation.

Sometimes the query lives in the raised eyebrow of a new acquaintance. My 40-something information technology professional countenance doesn’t often jibe with the societal picture of typical gardener.

Yet, I am a gardener — a gardener to whom the question “why do I garden?” seems almost rhetorical. The question is akin to asking myself, “Why do I breathe?” Continue reading Why do I garden?

Fighting the marching malaise of winter

Over the last few days, I’ve felt an army of malaise slowly marching up my spine. I’ve made good progress on some things around the house, but the incessant grey outside sapped my energy despite the still warm glow of a wonderful family Christmas. Even getting outdoors for a long hike yesterday did little to pique my motivation.

I woke early this morning, before dawn. I didn’t open the curtains in the living room; another grey morning was no temptation. Around seven, I noticed a glint of warmth where the curtain fell slightly open.

It was the sun, a stranger we haven’t seen for what seems an eternity — though in reality it’s only been a week or so. The forecast calls for snow later this afternoon and tomorrow to end 2012, but even a few hours of sunlight has done wonders for my outlook. Continue reading Fighting the marching malaise of winter

Brightening the winter blahs with cut flowers

Having four distinct seasons is a way of life here in the northern climes. I wouldn’t change it if I had the chance, as I truly enjoy the cold end that winter brings to the year. The clarity of a sunny, crisp winter day is beyond description. But, each season has a downside. For winter, that downside can arrive in the form of grey, overcast skies that can seem endless. When the main source of our light comes from an electrical outlet, our moods sour and our minds and bodies go into a sort of survival hibernation. Continue reading Brightening the winter blahs with cut flowers