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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.

Spring has come with a mighty rush to the red clay hills of North Georgia. Last week we were still living with the ragged remains of a seemingly endless Winter, this week we are basking under benevolent Southern Skies. The Crabapples and Plum trees are in full foam and the Dogwoods and Redbuds are not far behind. These are our glorious assurances that the cold time has receded for another year, we may see a few recurrences of frost and even a flurry or two. We’re good with that, the tipping point has been reached, there is no going back. It’s time to take the garden tools from the shed, wheel them to the old, battered Winter garden and stand and gaze. It’s not the weeds rampaging over sunken beds and tired winter crops of collards, kale and turnips we see. But new, freshly made raised beds, neat rows of rich, bright red soil, shining leaves of vigorous, healthy plants and the bright sun striking sparks from the dew-drops that bejewel every bloom. We are looking at the buckets and baskets that overflow with bounty, green beans, juicy red tomatoes, peppers of every size, color and scoville units and those darlings of my heart, fresh baby peas that taste like candy on the tongue. So many never make it to the kitchen as they are consumed on the spot. All of this happens in 15 or 20 minutes, this dreaming of the Garden that is yet to be. It is the Dreaming, the laying out of invisible-to-the-eye plots and beds that really creates the future of the garden. The Dream comes first, it is the outline, the reality follows in due time. Without the Dream it is only a weed covered patch of land. The Dream brings it to life and I am the Dreamer who will help the Master Gardener bring it to fruition.When you truly love, it shows.

December 2021

Sustainable Living in a Disposable World

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Sandi White

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