Thursday, June 14, 2007

Garden Therapy

Wellness of mind and body is partly related to what we eat and partly related to what we do. And partly related to genetic material. I am genetically predisposed to wanting to be outside my house. It must be that way because I see a general trend of indoor people and outdoor people. There is sanity in both places, but I would go nuts being in the house too much, just as some others get disturbed if they are away from their inner rooms for too long. There is joy, safety, entertainment, comfort and relaxation outdoors, too.
In my garden, I contemplate the joy and beauty of the world as well as how much work it takes to make that happen. My natural environment would look like blowing dirt and scrubby sun burnt stubble if I didn't water, fertilize and nurture. San Diego County is a coastal desert and expensive imported water is what colors it green. There is considerable work to do in weeding, planting, mulching, hauling, mixing, harvesting, preserving, repairing, fertilizing, mowing and trimming. Some people hire this work done- but for me it is Therapy- Dirt Therapy.
Lately, I have been in need of much Therapy. The inner rooms are having some problems, so I find myself escaping to the garden. I have long chats with my chickens (Custard and Quiche). I welcome the morning rabbits as they eat the lettuces, I feed the little birdies at the feeders, I love the neighbor's cat who stalks the little birdies, and I talk to my plants. I harvest the apples and plan dinner around the garden bounty. Lately, we have been having a lot of pie. Apple Blackberry pie. I have blackberries, blueberries and strawberries in the freezer for later and the berries are not done yet. I have peas and Fava beans in the freezer and the Fava beans are not done yet. I have lettuce, celery, turnips, potatoes, fennel, and green tomatoes. The oranges are ready now, too. I can plan some very wonderful meals which I want to eat outside on my patio in the cool of the evening when the work is done. Then I take a shower and go to bed exhausted. It is beginning to sound like escapism, rather than therapy. I can avoid the issues of my inner rooms by staying outside and playing with the chickens. But at some point I must go in and deal with the mess.
Laundry, bills, children in trouble, dishes, broken things that need repair. These are all waiting for me to come in from the garden. So how does the Garden Therapy actually work? Well, hmmm, while I garden I contemplate my anger at the child in trouble and devise a plan of action to correct the situation- it is good to have a plan. I think about the broken parts and decide if I want to do without it or repair it. Sometimes I realize that I just don't need that thing and I toss it rather than mess with fixing, or I get something different. Bills just get paid, and laundry just gets done, and cleaning gets done a little at a time. It is just not overwhelming when you spend lots of time outdoors. Like the seasons, all housework is a continuing thing. It is never done. So I often take pleasure in the parts that are done and the sense of practical functioning that is happening. There is a pile of stuff on the floor of my bedroom waiting for action of one kind or another for over a year now. But I am pleased that one of the items got taken care of last week, while three more were added. It is a simple mind, yes.
Well, so much for inner rooms and garden chat- I have beans to plant. I need to get out of this room and get some fresh dirt. My chickens are calling. Begawk!

1 comment:

Concentrationally Challenged said...

Hi Fluffy,

Here's wishing you peace and happiness in your garden, and in your inner rooms.

I hear you. I have my own relatively mundane hobby that serves to get me out of my stressful place and into a more reflective, meditative mood.

Good luck!