With the holiday hoopla well behind, this moment feels like a resting point. The well-deserved pause before life picks up pace. Taking my cue from the garden, it’s a recess I’ve learned to carve out judiciously.
Looking around, the garden is quietly at repose. Nothing actively going on. Below ground, the plants are building strength, restoring, resting and preparing for the growing season ahead. Ii is not a period of complete cessation of activity but instead, it’s a time to slow down, regroup and ready oneself. I too want to take time to restore my energy, reflect on what and how I want to proceed with my goals and projects. It’s not a vacation but a retreat.
The expression ‘putting the garden to bed’ is accurate. The basic life processes carry on but nothing more is expected or conducted. It’s a graceful reminder to do similarly for myself. Instead of plunging into the to-do list, I’m reassessing that list. What really needs doing? Are they taking me where I want to go? Time taken to reflect and rethink is necessary to become a better gardener/artist/writer/friend/spouse/parent/activist/human being. Like the garden, my growth never ceases. The benefits of resilience, flexibility, patience, adaptability and cooperation are exemplified by Nature. And then, at the right moment, the courage to go all out and bloom as loudly as possible! That’s what I aspire to.
Being busy is not bad. Being mindlessly occupied is. So, if you see me sitting around and not rushing around with a jam-packed schedule, I’m not being lazy! I’m purging projects and objects that do not serve my goals. I’m thinking and planning, researching and evaluating, learning and preparing, simplifying and streamlining. I’m focusing on what truly matters.
Because, just like my garden, I’m a work in progress.
The garden right now –
(c) 2023 Shobha Vanchiswar
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