Our chickens are sadly hilarious, walking around with their beaks open wide and their wings outspread. I'm thinking of giving them a bath, but that may not end well.
No rain in the last three weeks means the hose and I are spending way too much time together....dragging it around like a dead carcass, muttering what I wouldn't give for an irrigation system.
And the flower containers I joyously spent the springtime filling? Their cries for help send me scurrying outside into a wall of heat at least twice a day, moving them from place to place, hoping to hit on the right combination of sun and shade in an effort to keep them from giving up the ghost, and me from losing my sanity.
But what's a person to do?
I can no more not tend to my gardens than not breathe. It is a part of who I am. It may even be genetic. Or a sickness....sometimes I'm really not sure.
Ask my husband...he would say it's a sickness...that no one needs as many plants as I have!
But bless his heart, he understands. And is willing to fund my passion. And stop at every unusual garden center. And tromp through endless botanical gardens. He is a good man, he is.
Everyone has something, or at least should have something, that makes them feel alive. Something that if they stopped doing it, life would not be life anymore. Something that is a part of them.
That's gardening for me.
No matter where we have lived...from the tiny cement courtyard in Costa Rica to the nine-months-without-rain high desert in the mountains in Mexico, I have had to garden. HAD. TO. GARDEN.
At times it even felt like my sanity depended on it...to make sanctuaries of beauty for not only myself, but also for others to enjoy.
Many of you will remember recently when I posted on Facebook, while we were up north on vacation, that I was homesick...that I needed to know and be known.
All those things that defined who I was back home were not present there. I was present in the body, but my soul was languishing.
It wasn't until we found time to visit gardens, and I worked on my mother's gardens, and I helped my sister with her planting, that I felt myself again...restored...alive.
That's what gardening does for me. It completes me.
How about you?
What is it that makes you feel alive?
That when you think about it, it makes your heart skip a beat and a smile spread across your soul?
And the next question is, Are you doing it?
Maybe not as much as you'd like.
But are you doing it at all?
We always make time for that which is important to us.
Joy is a gift we give ourselves, and then it overflows to those around us.
God knows there are enough people in the world who grumble. And complain. And steal joy.
Yes, life is busy. Yes, there are commitments to keep. Jobs to do. Families to raise. And all of those can be a source of pride and satisfaction.
But I'm talking about "you" here...the one who needs down time...creative time...time to just "be".
What does that look like to you?
Sipping a good cup of coffee in your favorite chair, watching the sun rise?
An early morning jog as you witness the birth of a new day?
Rummaging through a used bookstore where unknown treasures await?
Tinkering on the car of your dreams?
Fishing on a lazy river?
Take time, dear one, for that which refreshes you.
You, and those you love, will be the better for it.