FEELING INTO WHATEVER WE DO: EMOTIONS ACTUALLY MATTER...
I have begun gardening of late, and the metaphors come fast and furiously as I dig and plant and water, as I prune bushes and trees, clear out dead underbrush and make space for new growth.
My $10 garden shears from Dollar General made it possible to change the shape of things in my yard, to set the scene for...whatever I want.
What do I want?
"What do you want?" is a tough question, one many of us fear to even ask. As it relates to my garden, I have spent the better part of my adult life fantasizing about outdoor space, what I would do if, reading magazines and poring over Pinterest. The actual reality of land and trees and space has overwhelmed me over the last three years since I bought my house upstate. I have been somewhat paralyzed, unable to really look around to start to make a plan. I have put some annuals in pots on my deck, not even making holes to ensure for drainage, just putting the bare minimum of attention toward anything lasting. I have planted a few things but not given them the proper care.
This year, though, determined to do things differently, I attended a landscaping class at the White Feather Farm with a lovely French woman, Karen from KaN Landscape Studio, and I actually attempted to listen and think.
Her first bit of advice: survey your land, walk around and feel the space paying attention to your emotions. Emotions are important, she said. What you create is gonna be right for you, so have fun. There is no wrong way.
The idea that excited me most in the class was to stop mowing my lawn, or at least just to mow pathways and areas within it. Yes! My whole body responded to this idea, to the photo of a natural overgrown field with a narrow pathway trimmed for walking, a circle carved out for sitting. We have to listen to the way our bodies feel and respond. I have spent so much money over the last few years paying someone to mow my lawn, every time devastated as I watch all the wildflowers get cut away.
This was the bit of freedom I needed to get started. We always need to find that spark that will push us forward. I painstakingly cleared two garden beds and filled them with bushes and plants I pray will thrive with the amount of sun/shade/soil they have. I covered them with pine mulch that matches the rustic wood style of my house, and edged them with branches and local firewood, picking up pieces of cool bark from my hikes and placing them around.
I used those new shears to attack, at long last, my overgrown shapeless rhododendron. I broke into a sweat and my shoulders and fingers ached, but before long, I stood back and she looked pretty cute. Moreover, I had a wheelbarrow full of azaleas to fill my house.
My field is growing and I hope my neighbors aren't angry at my intentional lack of trimming. A friend sent me an article by Martha Stewart that perfect lawns are on their way out, so I am cheered. I am excited but still unsure about my space, still nervously eyeing my garden beds to see if things are actually growing. There is still so much to do. But I am buoyed by just beginning, by making a commitment to trying to figure what I might really want. I am going for it, and have the bug bites, the sore body and the wall of brush to prove it!!
What will you begin this June? What seeds will you sow in the hopes of finding at least some of what you want?!
Take the time to listen to yourself, to feel into a rhythm that feels right for you during my June Symmetry Series, beginning this Wednesday, June 7 at 6:45 at The Floor on Atlantic, 310 Atlantic Ave. This series of three evenings will set you up for a great summer by offering a balance of body, mind and soul through movement and sound. Join me!
RSVP here. Hope to see you soon, in Full Bloom!! XX