Posts tagged ‘garden’

Time to Bloom!










Not only is nature a great healer, it is a wonderful teacher.  In 4th grade, my teacher gave each one of us a small sapling pine tree, and I planted mine in my front yard.  The neighborhood kids stepped on it and nearly bent it in half.  I cried and gave up on the little tree, convinced it wouldn’t survive. Boy, was I wrong!  26 years later it is STILL going strong and is now as tall as the house!

The inspiration for my tall tales story “Harry and Me” is my actual garden.  I do indeed have a row of yellow marigolds, and if you look at the picture above, you can see that each single marigold flower I originally planted has now become a marigold bunch!  The picture on the far left is of a single orange marigold that my mom gave me from the Chicago Botanic Garden. It was a boring single stem when I got it — no bloom at all — and now it’s a plant in itself!  For months I wondered why it didn’t look like the other marigolds!  Most miraculous of all is the middle picture — the infamous purple flowers!  Beautiful when I’d first bought them, they were nothing but stems for MONTHS, even up to a few weeks ago.  I’d debated pulling the ugly bunch up out of the ground, and now I’m so grateful I didn’t!

I become emotional as I experience the process nature takes.  It makes life out of death.  It takes its time.  It germinates, it appears to hibernate, and suddenly iy explodes in delightful colors!

Aren’t we much the same?

Every dream we plant in our mind is a flower ready to bloom.  We can’t see what it’s doing.  Sometimes we give up.  But if we give it a chance, a little water, enough time — we get results beyond our awesomest dreams!

Much love, many blessings. ❤

Story Saturday/Sunday: Tall Tale Attempt

As I mentioned in previous posts, I am jumping into situations in the interest of growth and moving past discomfort!  A week from this Tuesday is the speech contest for Toastmasters, and I signed up for both the “Comedy” speech and the “Tall Tale” speech before I even knew what I was going to write about.  Well, I eeked out a rough, rough draft of the comedy speech.  If you missed it, here’s the link to Friday: Funny Friday: Humorous Speech Attempt.

I decided to start with some reality for my Tall Tales speech.  According to Toastmasters guidelines: “”The subject for the Tall Tales speech must be of a highly exaggerated, improbable nature and have a theme or plot.”

The idea for this story is inspired by real life events.  And also reminds me of one of my favorite tales, Benjamin Bunny.  Has anyone else read this? I only have about 10 minutes until my next event tonight, so I’m going to do a bit of a brain dump and do another rough, rough draft.  Read at your own peril. . .

I decided to start a garden.  I started with strawberries, but every time I checked on them, it looked like they’d been partially eaten.  I never really saw the culprit, but I assumed it was a rabbit.  Next I decided to get really, really tall flowers.  I figured the rabbit couldn’t get to them.  But the next day I found a flower stalk with a severed head.  The little bugger had snipped the flower at its head height and like a beaver, chopped the sucker down.  It left most of the pedals on, too, as if to spite me.  Maybe bit off a bit more than you could chew, silly rabbit?  So, then I figured I’d outsmart it.  I’d get marigolds.  Rabbits HATE marigolds, right?  So, I planted a long row of marigolds.  And I waited.  And nothing happened.  And I waited.  And the marigolds blossomed and grew in 3s and 4s, and I started really liking the looks of that garden.  And first I thought, “Yep.  Rabbit!”  And then I thought.  “Now, come on?  Do I really just want a marigold garden? SURELY I can outsmart a little rabbit!”

Times up!  To be continued. . .

A Few Firsts

Today was a day of firsts. My first time out biking this year and the first time I’ve touched my yard. . . ever.

The bike ride was a semi-pleasant experience. I under-dressed (as I’ve been doing all day today) because 1) I am sick of winter – and am presently convinced that anything above 60 degrees is summer weather – and 2) because I have this ridiculous “Goldilocks” complex, in which I can’t stand being too hot nor too cold, and especially flip out if I overheat. (I’m terrified of wearing sweaters unless I have an undershirt on underneath that I can whip off in case of overheating emergencies.) So, although I was not uncomfortably hot, I was a little unpleasantly cold.  And I was completely swamped by gnats. Seriously. I have NEVER experienced so many gnats IN MY LIFE. And it was only a 10 mile bike ride. It got so Brian and I were reluctant to talk, or sometimes even breathe.

“Why do people complain about mosquitoes and what purpose they serve?” I demanded. “Gnats are smaller!  They’re even less of a satisfying food option! . . . Although, I guess they could be considered an easy snack – open your mouth, and you can get a mouthful!”

Although I enjoyed the exercise, fresh air, and view – I began musing that a winter forest really does make a lovely scene, kind of a like a classic black-and-white photo style – I was also bemoaning the loss of my weekend. My weekend has been a weekend of “should”s, meaning I did a lot of things because I needed to, not because I wanted to.  And that makes me a cranky, burnt-out woman. It began with helping my friend move, continued with my determination to get my taxes done, all in one sitting (always takes me forever, even with TurboTax because I decide to donate to a variety of charities during the year, and then I have to go back through e-mails and credit card statements to find the exact dates and donation amounts for the IRS).  And that was my yesterday. Today I was bound and determined to begin attacking our sideyard (which is pretty much our only yard for our townhome), and we spent a few hours of the day driving  to and from Brian’s parents’ and grandparents’ to borrow supplies check in, which was important. . .   And then we biked. . . which was also good exercise, also important. . .

Yes, these activities were all well and good, but I wanted some time do something just for me.  Just in pure selfishness. Just to be. Watching a movie without working/typing or reading my book at a time — other than squeezing it in right before bed.  (Even first thing this morning I was reading back issues of my union newspaper The Labor Record, hoping to get through them all and drop them off for my politically active colleague.)  I just can’t let myself have fun.

But working on the garden felt great. We didn’t really get that far – at least not as far as we’d imagined – but it felt fantastic, digging up old plants, dead plants and weeds; removing forlorn-looking buried and half-emerged stones and transplanting them to a nearby walkway; and just raking and digging up the dirt. I felt like a natural worker, just me and the Earth. And I was happy.

So, I had a great end to a busy weekend with plenty more Earth-bonding opportunities to look forward to.  Plus. . . I’m going to spoil myself a little bit right now – settling down with a good book and some oh-so-yummy chocolate  and caramel ice cream.

Image: Simon Howden /

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