Yes, here it is, my blog, post #1. This will be a simple exploration for me; part of my life experiment, to see where my musings take me, and others perhaps… but not to get ahead of myself.
I was raised amongst a family of agriculturalists, in the middle of a large city. Both my parents, in fact, managed to earn their incomes over the courses of their lives through gardening and farming and various related topics, which seems a bit miraculous considering our northern positioning and our limited 90 days of frost-free weather.
Clearly, miracles are commonplace where I come from.
Fond memories from childhood include picking buckets of rocks out of the garden; this being assigned as punishment for wild behaviour. My sister would not agree (re- the fondness, that is). While this could have been cause for complaint, I found it did not dampen my enthusiasm for the mud and bugs that abounded. Inspiring my sister to seek comfort in a day job, I found those rocks to be a source of inspiration in a much different way.
Whether picking rocks, or weeds, or plucking slugs from pea plants and lettuces, I started early on to use these experiences as a way to attain a certain calm, or to induce a meditative state of sheer joy. To this day I use my garden (and those of others) as a haven when things seem chaotic. My life otherwise being full of kids with their many personalities, and a house that has it’s own highs and lows; needing constant attention in various ways. Gardening, for me, provides a certain balance that I have come to crave and cherish.
I find inspiration when I can feel the cool damp earth under my bare toes, or when i can enjoy the wet early morning dew transfer to my own skin as I harvest baby kale at sun rise. I am awe-struck when a robin accidentally lands only centimetres away from my nose while I weed from under low pine branches. We pause to stare at each other, engaging in a game of “chicken” to see who will flinch first, neither of us wishing to spoil the precious moment.
In my life, I quickly worked out the sanctity of outdoor spaces; wild or cultivated, fruited or barren; and soon discovered that people would happily pay me to linger in their own precious yards while pulling weeds or planting new specimens, cultivating the earth, or trimming old growth. I thrived in these environments, and began collecting a pay check from sincerely grateful clients, much to my sheer amazement!
Good intentioned friends and family have suggested, over the years, that I hire employees, or that I advertise my services, or that I somehow loose the intimacy of what I so preserved; the one on one with mother nature. The business aspect had never been the motivation however. But, as a dear friend of mine says; “shift happens” and I felt this exact phenomenon unfolding before my very eyes and mud-caked fingernails as I found my basket of time filling, and spilling over. This “perfect niche” began taking on a life of its own; for better, as always.
I thought I was in this for my simple love of the garden… but there is more to my life’s lesson and the initial inspiration after all. Thomas Fuller wrote; “He that would have fruit must climb the tree.” And after years of thinking I was eating the fruit of life, I suddenly realized I had yet to reach any branches.