My life-long love of gardening has taught me much about perspective in life. I learned early on that there is something personally instructive about planning, planting, tending and harvesting an annual garden. The earliest lesson on the farm it taught me was the importance of having something that required care and attention from me only. It wasn’t going to happen unless I planted it. It would not succeed unless I watered and weeded it. No one else was going to do it for me. It was a simple lesson that started a course that I would enjoy studying many years later.
Because of gardening, I know what it takes to put food on the table. Because of my small backyard economy, I don’t take the national supply chain for granted. If the grackles decimate the onion tops, I won’t have any come summertime. They’re done, over. I have to wait again til next year.
The work of gardening is seasonal, and there is specific work to do in all four seasons. I like the old proverb that reinforces this
He who gathers crops in summer is one that acts wisely, but he who sleeps during harvest is disgraceful.
There is work to do in every season. Even today, stuck at home under Shelter in Place, Social Distancing, there are things I wish I could be doing. And the key word is Wish. I have no control of so much that I wish for, and it will do me no good to spend energy complaining and fretting about those things beyond my reach. I can wish for my sweet tomatoes in April, but if I don’t do the work in the meantime, I won’t have a harvest in July.
I approach my days in quarantine like I would a job. I build in a routine. I have a schedule. I shower and get dressed like I would in going work every day. I don’t lounge around in shorts. I need some semblance of order that I am in charge of.
And a big part of the day is to create. I write. I work out. I cook. I plan my garden. And most recently, I’ve started recording again. I took advantage of the time to upgrade my home audio studio and return to a long lost love that has been absent for 17 years; making music.
Here is a recording of a poem titled, Broken Down Shack, that I posted back in November. I recorded it this morning as a part of my decision to make each day count.