How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and the heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Rain in Summer
As spring draws closer, my thoughts turn to spring cleaning. Not so much indoors, but more in the garden. I am not a good house cleaner. I have never quite grasped the usefulness of dusting, vacuuming or the like. I do it as a necessity every so often , but avoid it whenever I can until I can no longer see the wood for the dust. I know it must sound awful, but I take care of it. Funny thing is when I do, I feel a wonderful release of stress; of not being boxed in. My life feels fresh and new. As I have been journaling recently, I learned about the concept of “clutter clearing”. Getting rid of clutter as a means to clearing your life and your mind. To allow new things, new thoughts, new actions in by clearing out the junk you no longer need or cleaning the dust and soil from your surrounds.
When I have made the conscious effort to “clutter clear” it has been amazing. And as the seasons are about to change, it will be time to “clutter clear” my garden. I do some of this clearing in the fall for a few reasons: so it is not such a huge job in the spring, to get rid of any diseased plants and if I don’t cut and clear certain plants the voles will nest, mess and kill plants. So when the snow slowly recedes now and I can see my beloved garden again, I first see a tangle, nasty mess of leaves and flattened stems, vole paths, and a grey brown stark soil. I assess the damage and get out my trusty shears and shovel, hoe and rake. I begin to clean away the debris that has been composting all winter. And as each area is cleared, it looks fresh and new. A canvas waiting for the paint to be applied by Mother Nature. Slowly I am rewarded with bulbs and plants seemingly frantically pushing so hard to reach the sun and warmth. And as they open their sleeping heads and the blooms burst forth, my heart and soul sing with gladness. No really they do. I feel born again every spring. It is hard to explain how this clearing, this cleansing effect makes me light headed and giddy. I can wander around aimlessly looking at virtually nothing to others, but I am seeing a new garden, new life being born once again. It is never the same my garden. Every spring, I wait to see what Mother Nature will bring me; what I hope to see. And speaking of hope, Sweet Bean Gardening has created the Hope Grows Day meme. The pictures here especially of the pond are what I hope to see in about a month.
One of the wonderful treasures I have every spring in the garden is the pond. We lovingly clean up the debris from lifeless plants, we clean out the leaves and we bring it back to life (we, or I should say the Pond Master aka The Hubby, plugs in the pump). It springs to life and calls for frogs, toads and birds to join it. The sound the water makes as it splashes over rocks is soothing and healing. A sound I miss much like the sound of waves and surf that can lull us into a deep meditative state or sleep.
The life energy that flows from the cleared and clean water, is teaming with life. Tadpoles also spring to life and begin to grow more. The plants surrounding its edges and buried in its soil, slowly work their way to the top. It is almost like magic to see a water lily grow up from the mud to the surface, lay out her beautiful leaves and pop out with the glorious flowers.
So as the seasons come full circle, so has my life and my garden. Many new projects started last year are continued this year as the garden continues to evolve. And yet I know I will have setbacks in the garden as I have setbacks in my life. I will be tested on lessons that I thought were done. The area that floods (above) where I installed a rain garden will be tested and let’s see how it fairs; how the plants grow in their water world. And I have another area just like it to fix on the other side of the garden, but that is another story. So it is time to embrace the changes coming; to cleanse, heal and renew in the garden.
When time comes for us to again rejoin the infinite stream of water flowing to and from the great timeless ocean, our little droplet of soulful water will once again flow with the endless stream.
– William E. Marks, The Holy Order Of Water