Friday, April 04, 2008

Stepping It Up

Long time readers of this blog may recall my affection for Thich Nhat Hahn's advice to tend one's inner garden. (See this post, for a refresher). Well, people, I am stepping it up, at least figuratively speaking, by tending my real-life backyard garden.

Thus far, my garden has been little more than a snack-stop for deer and a grand litter box for my neighbor's cat. I've become discouraged. No more! It's time to make my boundaries clear.

I've resisted the idea of putting up fences - so ugly, so expensive, so much work! But I want more greens, more tomatoes, more beans and squash and basil. (Well, maybe not more squash). And I realized that the also-ugly decrepit old swing set we've been meaning to take down could be repurposed, at least in part, as fence posts.

In the last couple weeks, I've gone happily crazy, cutting gargantuan brambles and pernicious maple saplings out of the previous owner's raspberry beds, grapevines, lilacs, and hardy kiwi. (Oh, hardy kiwi, how I love thee!) I've plotted out a fencing plan, squared up my previously vaguely heart-shaped plot into tidy raised beds, and begun a massive garden expansion. I've enlisted J~'s help knocking down the old swing set, and begun repainting the posts. Oh, yeah, and I also pruned the apple tree.

Here's a glimpse from a day's work, two beds so far:

And from another day, six beds in various stages, five more to go:

All this craziness has even spilled indoors, where I've been cooking and prepping vegetables for yet more cooking, cleaning like a mad housemaid/laundress, and decluttering like there's no tomorrow.

What does all of this have to do with Babies or Not? Only this: I've often felt like a creature caught up in an instinctive nesting compulsion, preparing for babies that never come. I prepare and prepare and despair and despair. It's pitiful and depressing. But then it dawned on me: to enjoy this moment, I have to live this moment. So I might as well embrace this seemingly ceaseless nesting energy, enjoy it, see what might come of it. If you build it, he will come, right? (If you don't know that reference, then you missed a really good movie. Go out and see Field of Dreams immediately. I insist) And then get busy embracing life. This is your moment.


K @ ourboxofrain said...

Wow, Amy -- you've been busy! Embracing the nesting instinct seems like a wonderful plan, and gets tangible results to boot.

Last weekend I took some photos of what remains this early spring of my efforts last fall to tend my own real-life garden as part of my inner garden tending process but have yet to post them. Perhaps tomorrow.

akakarma said...

The urge to procreate is all part of our self expression and nurturing. You are nurturing your world and yourself- love the tone of this post!