When I was a child in Indiana, I have fond memories of playing in meadows-hiding in tall grasses; rolling down hills of brightly colored flowers; picking the flowers and bringing them home in bouquets or putting them in my hair. So it wasn’t a surprise when we moved to the new house that I would find myself wanting to create a meadow. There was a nice patch of land behind the fence that was odd shaped and mostly full of weeds. What a perfect place for the meadow that would restore the land that had been partially cleared for building our house.
I researched growing a meadow and it was clear that using wildflowers native to your area was most important. So I found some folks who provide seed for different areas of the country, and I bought some seed. Of course I had to clear the hard clay landscape of some weeds and amend the soil. I decided I would do this in halves. It was too big a task to try to do it all at once since we did not have equipment except for our hands and backs and a few gardening tools. Once the land was somewhat cleared, I cast the seed and let Mother Nature do her thing. I found it best to seed the meadow in the spring when the air was warming and there was more frequent rain. So the first year we had mostly annual wildflowers for color while the perennials were beginning their growth. By year 2 as pictured above you can see how quickly the perennial flowers grew. I seeded some more to ensure a lush meadow and then went to work on the second half to clear, amend and seed. I also threw in some naturalizing bulbs to give it color in early spring and added a few bluebird houses.
It has been a labor of love, that takes a good spring clean up, some additional weeding and seeding so eventually we will have more and more wildflowers. A meadow is probably one of the most beautiful gardens you can have. It produces drifts of flowers that come up unplanned, natural and full of color. It changes with each season as spring wildflowers die back and make way for summer ones. It has 4 seasons of interest and it definitely brings the wildlife. From deer, to rabbits, to foxes, birds of every kind and of course the snakes, frogs and toads you run across. But the most beautiful aspect is the never ending color and texture that draws you to it as it reflects the sun or captures the dew.
One of the most breathtaking sights for me is the meadow as it sways in the wind. As it ebbs and flows, moving with abandon in whatever direction the wind takes it. It is so peaceful to just watch the meadow capture the wind and just go with the flow of it. That is one of the reasons why I placed the gazebo at the back of the garden near the meadow. Whenever I need to quiet the noise of a day or contemplate life or just be, I go to the meadow and breathe in its life force. There is no stress there. No blocks, nothing in your way. Just the forever of possibilities.
And as this year has unfolded, I think one of the greatest lessons I have learned thus far is going with the flow. For me this really means having more patience. To go with the flow you have to be patient and not try to force things to happen faster. To allow yourself to grow at your pace. I have found also that things come to us when we are ready. Then we can nurture the new aspects of our lives (the seeds) and grow through each cycle, each season as we change with that flow.
Going with the flow means you must accept change because it is inevitable. It will happen. Many people resist the flow, resist change because we are afraid of what it means. I know I did for a long time. I was afraid to let go of the comfort of what I knew and go into the unknown. Trust it will be OK. We grieve with that change. It is like a death of sorts. But out of death, new life is always growing, changing again, improving. Think of it as when something ends, it is actually a new beginning.
If we focus less on controlling and more on action then we will be surrounded by the energy that draws what we want toward us. I have been practicing this by repeating to myself, “I will not react, I will respond.” I know easier said than done. But when we can respond, then those changes, or let’s call them opportunities, will naturally come our way. I realize sometimes this flow may deal what appears to be a bad hand. But I have found I need to look at it more as an opportunity, not as a negative. There is a reason the flow of life has taken me here. And I find solace in knowing the flow is ever moving. Moving me toward greater peace and joy in my life. So now instead of getting caught in the negative, I find myself breathing in that life force and nurturing myself. I think when we make this our experience, we can go with the flow, knowing that we will be okay.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.