211: Gardening

new spinach

new spinach

Gardening is a soothing activity, most of the time. When there is a stubborn root to dig up, or a stone, then it’s not too much fun, but otherwise, it is soothing, rewarding and intensely satisfying to see rows of healthy, weed-free plants growing, blooming and producing. It is a deep down satisfaction similar to when one of your beloved fur children comes to your lap, and raises a soft paw to touch your chin, just because they like you, too. Then I know I’m a good cat mom.

Cats like the garden, too – a little too much. They view it as a big kitty potty, full of interesting bugs and dangly things to play with. Still, they are good company when you are on your knees, weeding. They come to see you for a few pets and cuddles, and then they wander off to explore interesting things. Those are great times to think and ponder the universe, when you are on your knees, weeding in the garden. Even when your ‘garden’ is a series of flowerpots, you can still grow herbs, spinach for fresh salads, tomatoes and various other goodies (including catnip), and the pots still need tending, just like any other small garden.

I found myself thinking about weeds, and bad habits, and how much they are alike. The both start out small, and are easily uprooted and controlled, if you keep up with them. Let them go for a few weeks, and you will discover that the roots have grown deep, and that they have multiplied, too. Then, getting rid of them is a real problem, without uprooting the plants you wanted to have there in the first place. Bad habits are just like that. Let them go, and they are the devil to get rid of, too. Uproot them when they are small and just starting, they are a snap to get rid of. I’ve quit biting my nails about a thousand times. I’m STILL working on it. *I* don’t like it, and I still don’t seem to be able to get it stopped. I do it when I am distracted and not thinking about it, like when I am reading (which I do a lot for my job). Really aggravating. If it happened just by making up your mind about it, I’d already have inch long nails.

Plus, the garden teaches you some patience – and lets you see what happens as a reward when you let things take their natural time. Planting seeds is an act of faith in the future. It takes a little time for those seeds to stop being seeds, and start being what they were intended to be: plants. It’s a process, and it does not happen overnight, kind of like kids. They have to grow into what they are going to be, too – and they have to decide to stop being kids to do it. Not stop enjoying life, but stop being children. Grownups are not childish, but they can still have a child-like wonder at the beauty and majesty of life and the world we live on.

Besides, just-picked tomatoes are worth whatever little bit of trouble it takes to grow them. And fresh spinach is lucky if it lasts long enough to make it to the salad – YUM!!

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