By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. ~Confucius
It is Word 4 Wednesday (W4W) hosted by Donna@Garden Walk, Garden Talk. The word for this month is Reflection. And what a great word for my 100th post. I usually blog once a week, on Mondays, during gardening season, but off season I will blog twice a week. So it has taken 1 year and 4 months to get to this milestone. In that time I have had many views and comments. I tend to not take these counts too seriously after all what do they mean. I am grateful folks read my blog and feel compelled to leave wonderful, thought provoking comments.
As I reflect on my path and my 100th post, I find my journey continues to move forward working toward peace, health, contentment and simplicity. I have come a long way on this journey, but there are still a few blips in the road. Surprisingly, anger seems to be one of these blips. And as you may know, anger can be very toxic if left to grow.
I experience anger most when I have little patience (waiting in line, rude people and rude drivers). It smolders, it festers and suddenly it becomes whiny, judging, blaming and resentment sets in. Geesh. How quickly it gets out of control. I am good at keeping it under control these days letting little bother me as I once did. But every once in a while, I find it creeps in and boom it is there in all its ugliness.
“He who angers you conquers you.” Elizabeth Kenny
So what to do but confront it…not easy because we usually project our anger outward. If we just realize that we all experience anger, we can actually use it to help us. As soon as I recognize it, I try not to assign blame to others (which is what we usually do-it is everyone else’s fault I am angry). Instead I look at what is really going on, why it is happening, how can I get back under control, what can I do about the situation and then I let it go. Why? Because I have found I do not want to hold on to that anger too long even if it seems warranted. It can suck you down to some pretty nasty places; places I choose not to go to anymore.
“Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved.” ~Marcus Antonius
These days I would rather spend my time daydreaming and reflecting on the garden and my pond. Especially my pond. The pond is a wonderful place to reflect upon life. I can lose myself watching the frogs, birds, dragonflies or any other critter that visits. I am very good at daydreaming. I remember as a child in school I would sit and stare out the window thinking of wonderful memories; playing, riding my bike, swimming and wading in the creek. It seems water has always been a part of me, of my dreams…it is special to me and very healing. So it was no surprise when I decided I wanted a pond in the garden I was planning 7 years ago.
Now as I go to the garden to wander, to visit, I am always drawn to the pond. I sit on my rock beside the waterfall and survey the garden; survey my life. Gazing into the deep pool is meditative and healing; it brings me peace even in times of anger or despair. I can see the pond from many angles even when I am inside my house. I especially focus on it during winter as I gaze through the snow coming down and see the pond wearing its blanket of white reflecting sparkles in the sunlight; frozen in time, suspended.
My pond, this special place in my garden, actually helps me focus on what needs doing many times. So as I have been staring at it with the snow falling, melting, the cold winds blowing I am still contemplating and dreaming of my garden this year. What will it look like? What plants will be lost because of all the rain and snow melts causing flooding yet again. Here are a few thoughts about this year. I hope to go into greater detail next week and in the weeks that follow.
…Some garden projects this year (just a list for now):
- removal of invasives; replacing with natives (big job so we will take it one section at a time)
- planting 2 native trees-Black Cherry and Crabapple
- planning of veg beds; indoors seed starting schedule
- removal of sod (at least a foot maybe 18 inches) along the front garden to widen the garden a bit more and separate it from the grass
- removal of sod near the back right rain garden so we can make the rain garden a bit bigger
- removal of invasive weeds from the meadow -especially teasel
- adding more native plants and seed to the meadow
- minor redesign of part of the front garden
- plans for the constantly flooded area in spring, fall and now winter-assess damage and replace with only moisture loving natives
- amend soil in various back gardens (white, tree, arbor, pond)
- try to get clean up started in March, and keep up the weeding before the hot weather sets in
- plan containers- start a lot of annuals from seed; need schedule of seed starting indoors of annuals
OK that should be plenty for now. My husband who read this already is grumbling and saying what he will or won’t do this year. He knows he will give in and help. He always does because he is a great garden helper (albeit reluctant). Of course many of these plans will get waylaid and others will take their place. It is all about what is most important in the moment; what I can get to once life takes over and the dreams stop–reality sets in once more.Reflections looking back at me. Images of what I must see. Ripples of life, Losing the scene. Thoughts. Considering what is to be. Donna Donabella
This week Scotts Miracle Gro and The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) announced a partnership. Needless to say this has many folks up in arms and very confused. Those of us who proudly garden for wildlife and display our Certified Wildlife Habitat signs (an NWF program) are now rethinking being associated with this program. This is one of those times I find anger to be useful and productive because it has propelled me into a good place where I can speak out and let them know how angry their decision has made me. As a result of NWF’s decision, their lack of any sensible explanation and the way they are handling their base of supporters, I have decided to severe my ties with NWF. There are many other programs gardeners can get involved in, support and learn from. One such program is Audubon At Home. I plan to investigate this and other programs, and will post about them soon.
Here are the links to some great blog posts about this partnership and how gardeners are reacting.
If you want NWF to know how you feel about all this please contact them. Here are some of the ways to do that:
- Post your thoughts on NWF’s facebook page (make sure you click the tab that says “Everyone” under the photo bar)
- Tweet your message to NWF on twitter, including @NWF in your message
- Call NWF: 1-800-822-9919 ; M-F 8 a.m to 8 p.m. EST
- Leave a comment on their website
Next Up on the Blog: Next Monday I will be highlighting the color blue. Then on Wednesday, at the end of the month, I will be looking at my garden in review and setting the stage for the projects this year. February will prove to be a busy month. Lots to start prepping for in the garden especially seed starting.
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