“Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.” – Luther Burbank
Spring is a little over a month away. We’ve all experienced a challenging year avoiding exposure to the coronavirus and most of us are finding new ways to stay emotionally balanced. So many of us have adopted the stay close-to-home requests and have been limiting our social time.
Now we are experiencing our second springtime coping with social distancing and mask-wearing while seeking safe ways to engage with others. We’ve had to find new ways to exercise while gyms are closed or are operating at minimum occupancy. Our prescribed social interaction is best left to the great outdoors.
Walking, biking, and running along with safely gathering in very small social bubbles in the outdoor air is mostly our chosen exercise. A walk with good conversation is a blessing.
Beauty In My Shelter
This last year I was invited to join an online group named “Beauty in My Shelter”. I am wholeheartedly thankful for the invitation and love what this group offers. The thoughtful moderator cheers on our posts and the members offer so much kindness. We share images from all around the world reflecting each individual’s environment.
Sometimes an image from a walk, a simple cup of coffee in a beautiful mug, a contented pet, a creative offering, or even a beautifully set table can bring each of us a feeling of comfort and connection—reminders we are not alone. The space we have created together is emotionally uplifting.
Having a positive and kind space in which to interact can help fill many of our senses. It’s also an invitation to connect with the beauty all around us that we normally might overlook.
Finding and Creating Beauty
Before COVID, I had planned on remodeling the bath in the master bedroom. After COVID, I had to create a new plan.
An ugly old stump in our front yard had been bothering me. I came up with the idea to dig it out using my tools and remove it, including all of the roots. I wanted to build a raised cut-flower bed. It could bring joy by providing flowers all spring, summer, and into the fall.
What a great way to get exercise while landscaping and creating beauty at the same time. Those who know me well understand I am a maker and I love to transform spaces and make beautiful things.
It took me about seven days to dig around and under the stump. Then a kind neighbor (I love my neighbors) came over with his chainsaw and detached it from the roots. He also lifted the stump out of the ground and took it to the green dump. 😀
The next week I dug out the rest of the roots and was ready to build the raised flower bed. I already had most of the materials from an earlier deck remodel and was really happy I could repurpose some used lumber.
A Sharing Garden
During the time I was digging out the stump I remembered to order seeds online that were recommended for cut flowers. Because of COVID, all the flower nursery stores were closed and I had to make an appointment to get soil for the bed. It was an easy chore. I paid over the phone, drove there at my appointed time, they filled my little truck bed, and before long the raised bed was ready to plant.
I was getting a late start on the season but I had hoped my chosen plants would mature and bloom. At the beginning of May the seeds had germinated, and they were ready to go into the ground. I was pleasantly surprised it didn’t take long before I could share the blossoms from my labor.
Through the last bit of spring, all through the summer, and into the fall I picked the flowers from the yard and the raised bed and created bouquets. It was so fun to be able to share beauty with others who I knew appreciated their essence. I was able to share my bouquets in person and virtually with my old and new online friends!
It’s so true that giving and receiving are the same. It’s reciprocal energy that goes round-and-round and is a beautiful way to fill our souls.
In closing, here is a wonderful quote from Audrey Hepburn:
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”