It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
Me judgmental? Never! Well maybe a bit…let’s face it we all are judgmental in our way. We have our own beliefs and values which then color our way of thinking and acting. We know what we like and don’t like…at least for the moment. In my case the moment may change quickly as I learn about new things. Recently a blogger friend, Marcia Richards, wrote about her pet peeves in her post, My Persnickety Side. It got me to thinking about my pet peeves, what irks me, and then further how judgmental I really am.
When I think of judgement, I think of competition and not in a good way. I have never thought of myself as competitive with others. In school I excelled so naturally I wanted good grades and worked hard to get them, to be the best for myself. I knew I wanted to always increase my grades until I hit that perfect 100%. I would even beat myself up for making one mistake and losing that perfect score. Not a healthy competition…it lead to poor self esteem.
In areas where I felt I lacked any expertise or knowledge/talent, I wouldn’t compete…I would actually avoid those subjects, activities and competition. It is referred to as not taking a risk or going outside our comfort zone. It is what held me back from writing for 40 years or even thinking I had any artistic talent. And sporting competition I find too stressful to watch. I feel awful for the players when they don’t win. Actually I avoided any sporting competition and instead sought peaceful activities and pursuits when I wasn’t competing with myself.
Over the last year I have worked hard to temper my “persnickety side”. Recently I read about non-judgmental observation; we take in information and choose to integrate it or not integrate it into our philosophies/ideas at the same time appreciating these different ways of thinking. It means learning without passing judgment. Not an easy task because I think we all look at things and say; “I wouldn’t do that”; “I wouldn’t wear that”; “I wouldn’t plant that” and on and on. I learned long ago to thank people for their opinions, but I did not feel compelled to act on someone else’s feelings or thoughts. And I thank both my parents for letting me learn through my own mistakes, and for knowing when to back off and not nag too much.
And when it comes to the garden I tend to think of it as art…not to be judged…to be created, discerned, appreciated for all its different forms…I may decide I would rather plant natives in my yard due to my habitat, but I do not judge someone else for not planting natives. Formal gardens just aren’t in me and I tend to love the looser form of a cottage garden, but I do love the beauty, work and detail someone puts into a formal garden.
So in pondering this idea of not being judgmental, I am trying to discern a few things about my garden this year:
- Which seeds in my veggie garden are the better performers this year? I bought seed from Renee’s Garden, Botanical Interests, Seeds of Change, Mike the Gardener’s Seeds of the Month Club. So which are germinating, growing and producing the best. I will watch and take notes to see which may be the better seeds for my garden next year. The radishes from Renee’s have done nicely so far under cover and are showing signs of small radishes..they may be ready for picking by next weekend along with arugula, lettuce and spinach. Setting out the early veggies under the row cover in mid-April despite all the cold weather may have been a success…we shall see soon.
- Snakes: While necessary in the nature, I am not keen having the thought of finding them sliding over my foot or hand in the garden, although I think they would tend to run from me. For now when we find them, we move them to the forever green area They tend to like our pond filter and we constantly find them there.
- Rabbits: They are cute little buggers, but this weekend we found 2 trying to build nests. I had thought we had adverted nesting bunnies this year since it was so late, but like everything else they are nesting late too. Actually we saw the smaller one and we were trying to chase it out. We never saw the other bigger rabbit. She chased the smaller one (pictured above) and that’s when we saw the larger one. And thank God since she was just finishing her nest. Yes we chased her out too, and dismantled the nest. Our yard is not a restaurant for the rabbits; well it is, but we try to discourage nesting in our yard. We will not move or disrupt babies found in nests, but they usually never make it because of the cats and birds of prey nearby.
- Voles: No I have tried to find some redeeming quality, but I can’t. I hate them and will do just about anything to rid the yard of them…stay in the meadow!!!
- Swallows: Yes I know they are beautiful in color and flight, but my God they are nasty when nesting. They will dive bomb, and hit you if you come close. My garden needs to be tended and I cannot wait them out for a month while they are sitting on the nest. The other birds live peacefully with us, and accept our presence although we try to not be too invasive. Oh and swallows are relentless in trying to oust other birds from the nesting boxes. At least the wren gave up trying to oust everyone and just built her nest…the swallows bully the sparrows all day to try and get the nesting boxes…come on give it up and move on….I don’t like bullies!!
- I gave up in the back gardens trying to fight nature with all the water we get in spring. We expanded our rain gardens, and planted water loving grasses and irises in them. They will capture the natural run off of the yard as it slopes slightly down hill following the grade of the landscape. I am also filling the surrounding area with more moisture loving natives and some exotics since I know the areas in the back gardens are wetter.
I have learned that I tend to be more judgmental of things that I do not like in myself; of behaviors I realize I display that are not so nice. I long to find my daily practice to be one of reflection; of listening without judgement and reflecting….learning…valuing…discerning the gift of each person and the gifts they have to give us in the garden and in life.
Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way.~ Swami Vivekananda
Special Note: While I was unable to visit my mother in Arizona for Mother’s Day (I called her), I visited my husband’s mother’s grave to pay our respects. The lovely bulbs I planted at my mother-in-law’s grave have bloomed and are a beautiful sight. I had brought some flowers from the garden not knowing what to expect. I think she would have loved the flowers blooming.
People normally say Happy Mother’s Day to most middle aged females and not having any children, I always felt compelled to say, “Thanks but I have no children”. Instead I say, “Thanks”…after all Mother’s Day is, I believe, a time to celebrate women for all they do to raise, love and positively impact children; nieces, grandchildren, foster children, students etc. Happy Mother’s Day to you all!!
Monthly around this time (usually the 10th) I guest blog at Walkabout Chronicles. I hope you can join me.
Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.
All content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View. Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.