If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?
Forget what we’re told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that’s bursting into life.
~ Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars”
Until the past few years, I’ve not been much of an outdoors person. I hated Girl Scout camping. I endured kickball only to flirt with the cute neighbor boys, and I tried the church softball team because my dad was the coach and I wanted his attention. I did ride my bike a lot, but other than that, I could usually be found inside with a book.
So I wonder why I can’t sit still inside now?
Running has brought me such incredible happiness and fulfillment and Love. If I could survive it and didn’t have other obligations, it would be ideal to just simply run all day until I was too tired to continue.
One of my favorite things about my countryside runs is the agricultural scenery. It fascinates me to go through the seasons with the farmers and watch the land which lay barren and dead explode with new life and produce. The farms are an outdoor expression of my soul – the cycle of life and of living – and the rhythm soothes me like a lullaby.
Driven by my hatred of the overgrown/dying/ugly/nasty/builder-installed holly bushes in front of my house and by my son’s new interest in culinary herbs and vegetables, I brought the magic of the farms to my very own yard this year. Carefully selected plants found a home in our raised beds, and others are spilling out into the flower beds, elbowing each other for space and attention and sunshine.
This is my first successful growing season, and I’m surprised at the self-satisfaction and happiness it adds to my life. These tiny green things, stuck in the dirt, grow inches overnight and are beginning to yield some produce. Dirt, the stuff my mother used to brush off me and taught me to despise, is a critical life source.
The garden snaps me into the present moment, just like running does. I can’t wait to visit first thing in the morning to see what magic happened overnight. A new flower… a tiny green tomato… a vine that has curled its way up the trellis with no direction or help from me.
And the plants couldn’t care less about their ultimate autumn fate – they grow and they give because that’s what they were made to do. Some will leave seeds behind to start fresh another season, and some will bear fruit that nourishes my body and then die back into the earth from which they came. But despite the sad outcome for the plant, everything about gardening sings a song of Hope to me. Hope for growth. Hope for productivity. And Hope that in the middle of a pile of dirt, brilliant Life can emerge.
My garden is another joy-bringer in my life. It makes me happy. And hopeful. And it opens another window in my soul to Love.
All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they’re all I can see
I don’t know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all
~ Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars”