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A shower perks everything up.

A long row to hoe calls for mulch!

     There are times when a word or phrase trips my switch and some spark of illumination lights up my imagination.  My friend, Laurie Buchanan, furnished the last sparks with her words “practicing living”.

     Living.  Isn’t it amazing that something so basic can be so hard to describe in words?   And being so simple and basic, how tempting it is for us to make it hard to do.  It’s something I was mulling over last night, that Life is not so much an Event as it is a Journey taken step by step, as Laurie puts it “practicing” all the way.  If this is the Journey and we are practicing, the Event must be sometime and somewhere in the Future.  In this time people seem to want eveything to happen microwave fast, or at least at the speed of sound.  You pick up your cell phone, speed dial a number and the pre-made casserole goes from freezer to micro-wave in about 30 seconds.  There – supper is taken care of.  Done.  I am ever mindful of the speed of time and feel no need to cram as much as possible into my days.  In fact, I find myself culling certain things that have become bothersome or simply non-essential to my peace of mind.

    In Gardening I have discovered that I have developed a train of thought that allows subjects on and off in a leisurely fashion, no frantic or obsessive thinking allowed, no rushing to achieve results at record speed.  It’s no surprise that so many Spiritual Orders find meditative gardens so useful.  Like labyrinths, physical motion is required but frees the mind to consider other avenues of thought.  I suppose I am thinking about the practice of patient living.  I’ve never been a patient person by nature, now with one or another circumstance revising my take on life, I find that I’m really not in such a hurry.  The deadline hasn’t changed, just my attitude on how fast I want to run to get there.  Practicing patience is hard as any mother can tell you, especially under trying circumstances.  So my green beans still aren’t ready to pick at 60 days instead of the 53 days promised on the seed packet.   Will I go hungry or lose sleep?  Certainly not.  I should be able to adjust to the rhythm of Life instead of expecting Life to change it’s tune to accommodate me.  It’s just so much more fun to take the slow train and see the sights than jump the fast jet and miss all the scenery.  I reckon we’ll just keep practicing until we get it right and Graduate with Honors.

Watermelons know when to hide.

Springtime in the South is always a little edgy, like Springtime everywhere it is a time of wild planning and and Spring fever. Just as you want to jump up and tackle a new project, another will catch your fancy and you’re off on a different course. A hundred things begging to be done and only me to do them. The garden, the flower beds, the pruning, the mulching, the Chicken Condo, all looking for attention. It makes me want to take a nap just thinking about it. A good Spring Cleaning is what the Doctor ordered and exactly what we got. For days moving on into weeks the Metro Atlanta area has been choking under sulfur-yellow clouds of pollen, that by-product of our beautiful flowering trees. We’ve always had an inordinate pride in our tree canopy, in the city itself it is unlawful to cut any tree without permission. We have in North Georgia a wonderful mix of oaks, hickories, sweetgums and the ubiquitous Southern Yellow pine. The stars of the Southern Landscape however, are our Dogwoods and Redbuds, those lovely beings that along with the azaleas and quince brighten our woodlands and roadsides. Pear, peach, plum, apple, blackberry all bursting and exploding with color and joy of living. And pollen, tons of pollen. Clouds, waves, drifts and tsunami of pollen. Everything sporting a bloom is throwing it’s special come-hither fragrance and pheromone to the wind, hoping to entice and seduce the bees and other pollinators to stay and visit for a spell. A little booty-shaking by the bee and the job is done, all set for the year and Mother is pleased. This still leaves the pollen to cling to everything, grass, pets, clothes, vehicles, porches. Porches! When I swept mine the other morning, such clouds rose with each pass of the broom that I went back inside leaving the broom outside. That day the pollen count was 5,733. Our record is right at 6,000. News helicopters flying over the city showed thick clouds of yellow “fog”, barring from view the streets and houses below.
Once again, heart felt prayers were answered, and we got rain. Such a wonderful rain. No hail. No high winds, no tornadoes. Just a sweet soaking rain that swept the sky blue again, the streets and houses clean of yellow dust and the air to crystal purity. This is the sort of Spring morning that makes the little calves kick up their heels, the baby colts frisk about, the Rooster in the pen to prance and preen, taking credit for it all. Like allergy suffers through out the area, I am over-joyed at the feel, the taste and the scent of Spring in the air. The Sparkle of Sunshine on freshly washed new leaves, still decked in their pastel greens and pinks, the glitter of broken light flashing from puddles of rainwater, the riot of birdsong carried on the breeze have me popping with energy this morning. And, Lord knows, there is plenty to do.

July 2017
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Sustainable Living in a Disposable World

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Sandi White

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