Sunday, July 18, 2010

The little things.....

There are some days when , so help me, I just seem to go through the motions. The hours pass and I do what has to be done as well as I can, and my brain clicks into neutral and come the evening, I can't remember for the life of me what I have done all day. Accomplished.

The psychologist at Bath talked about "Mindfulness". Apparently I need to be mindful. So, I started reading a little about what being mindful actually is, and as it happens, my good friends who just happen to be psychologists, will be running a weekend course on Mindfulness soon. I will be there. In the front row. I have lots to learn.

When I heard that too often our minds race from one thing to another constantly and as a result, we get little in focus, the lightbulb in my head started flashing morse code. "You! This is you!" it yelled. Right. I tend to either be in limbo or the brain decides to turn into a whirling dervish. This is not helpful. Living right now in the moment and noticing it and appreciating it sounds perfectly good sense to me. Now I have to learn how.

It is easy to drift into dreamland, where everything is perfect. It is also unhelpful, and unrealistic. If we spend too much time hankering after the unattainable, we miss the moment. Now.

I love gardening and growing things. If I had the great garden of my dreams, I would not be able to manage it. My tiny garden is full of pots, planters and raised beds, you see, so I never have to bend or crouch or kneel. There are hanging baskets stuffed with herbs, and lettuce alongside the cascading flowers. I can manage it. I can grow things. Even though at the widest part it is just 25ft by 15ft , I still manage to grow enough vegetables to feed us through the summer and longer.

There are chairs everywhere for me to sit and rest and just enjoy the beauty of the flowers, the scent of the lavender, lilies and roses, and sweet peas. Mixed with the beans and peas and tomatoes etc. There is a big table for me to use to pot up things. Even my little shed is raised. The greenhouses mean I have things on shelves. I can water everything with watering cans.

Right now, there is not a great deal I can do physically. Tempting though it is to retire to the couch and whine, I try to get out in the garden for a little while each day. In the wind and rain too, let me add. You see, I made it. I did it. I planted it from seeds I collected last year. All it took was time, and my garden doesn't come with a time chart I have to stick to or get into trouble. It doesn't mind if I water in stages. It doesn't matter if I plant out things at different times. There is no master plan someone expects me to work to. It grows. It gives me huge joy. And a wonderful sense of accomplishment too. At least there is something I can do.

I wouldn't win any prizes for speed, efficiency and other measures. But it doesn't matter. What I need to learn how to do now is to train my mind to focus on what I am doing out there. The little joys from seeing a tomato appear. The bees hovering. The bud opening. The collection of seeds. Realise the miracles, and savour them each, tiny though each may be. Store away the images in my mind, alongside the feelings they incur.

The little things. Too easy to do them automatically without appreciating them.

It is never too late to learn, is it. Adventures start right here at home.


Needled Mom said...

There are so many days when I feel the same way. We rush, rush, rush and never really stop to take the time to be aware and appreciate the quiet moments that reflection and listening can do for us. Is it any wonder why we cannot remember what we did at the end of the day?

Vee said...

Mindfulness...hope that you'll dispense some of what you learn for the unmindful like me. Yes, my brain runs around like a hamster on a wheel until it collapses in the corner not remembering much of what happened this day or that. The kids will often describe moments in their childhood of which I have no recollection. It's fascinating to listen to them talk about it, of course, when it's not downright scary. Obviously, I've been "at it" for a long time. Have tried to do better having become aware of the concept over the past few years, but still I want to be more grounded and more present. Perhaps I need to raise a garden, too.

Kelli said...

This really is making me think. Do you think you could send me some [pictures of your garden, so that I can look to you and to them for inspiration to do something here? I have plenty of space, and a daughter I need to connect with in some way. Her passion when we moved here was to garden, and this may be a way for me to reach in to her, past the anger and hatred she has for me, and connect. I have little time left before she moves out and on with her life. And I need her to want to be my ,id fast. Really fast.

Janine said...

It's also called "living in the moment" - takes a lot of practice but it's well worth it.

Pam said...

What a lovely piece of writing.

someone else said...

I really, really like this post.