“Oh my God, he’s got me!”
That’s me yesterday crouched over in the mud trying to upright a badly leaning 6’ tall rose bush. He had my ponytail. I had crawled under and was using my upper back and shoulders to gently push him up to stand while I attempted to reset the metal trellis that had originally been his base. A deep forward fold with my face looking backward between my legs and my ponytail now intricately woven into the thorns. Help!
My husband came running just as I managed to extricate myself from the grip. He cautioned me not to get that close…..as any seemingly rational person would have responded when faced with a gangly thorny rose bush. But it caused me to pause.
“That would be distance gardening” was my response. I had one of those “aha” moments where I understood that I am anything but a distance garderner. When I am with my plants….I am all in!
We are in the process of selling our home of 24 years next door and with a Sunday open house looming, the ground now finally visible, clearly needed some attention. Sticks, branches, composting leaves and mud……lots and lots of mud. So for several hours we raked, spread mulch, trimmed and spruced.
Now the rake can get around the base of the plants and bushes, but leaves a clump smack dab in the middle. This is where the real work comes in as it requires climbing back into those dark, damp, somewhat scary places that we all have behind the bushes, in the corners, under the porch. Crawling in the mud, reaching through the spider webs and being ok with a slug ending up in your hand.
By the end of the day I have dirt from head to toe, am covered with a thin layer of sweat and can feel the flush in my face. This is when I feel the most alive. No distance for me…..going deep. Just like life.
There is so much stimulation in the world today. We are all “connected” by technology and can pay people to do everything for us. Our “friends” are on facebook and the internet provides snippets of everything going on everywhere. Guides on how to be thin and beautiful, pills that will keep us healthy. It has become so easy to live on the surface. But I don’t want that. I want to scratch beneath the surface……………..
I want to feel it all. I want to be connected to others at my core where no words are needed. I want to dance so freely that I tingle. I want my heart to be wide open where I can befriend not only joy, but the deep sorrow as well. I want to put myself out there even at the risk of being rejected. I want to quiet the stimulation so that I can sit in silence and hear the stirrings of my soul.
As I peeled off my gloves I saw the dirt deeply embedded under my fingernails. Hmmm….. Looks like I am digging deeper.
Only when I am silent and lean in can I hear the plants,