Gone Gardening

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This time of year the sun rises behind Mt. Battie and shines through my bedroom window right into my eyes, like a teleprompter telling me to get outside.

I love this early morning time in the garden, checking on seedlings and weeding. Too early in the year for many pests and diseases, everything looks green and hopeful. The growing plants with their different shapes and shades — spiky garlic, rounded swiss chard, stubby broccoli — bring visual order to my life. A distant woodpecker’s gentle rhythmic beat, the wind in the trees, the murmur of birds going about their business soothes my brain.

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It’s a momentary feeling, but the effect is long lasting.¬†Solving problems here is as simple as pulling unwanted grass shoots from between the rows of beets. The hardest decision is whether to let the freelance dill grow among the rows of leeks, or to remove it.

Living in the moment is therapeutic. The essayist Montaigne described it well: “When I dance, I dance; when I sleep, I sleep; yes, and when I walk alone in a beautiful orchard, if my thoughts have been dwelling elsewhere, I lead them back again to the walk, the orchard, to the sweetness of this solitude, to myself.

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