Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Life’s Daily Prospect

"Long have I loved what I behold,
The night that calms, the day that cheers;
The common growth of mother-earth
Suffices me--her tears, her mirth,
Her humblest mirth and tears.”

"These given, what more need I desire
To stir, to soothe, or elevate?
What nobler marvels than the mind
May in life's daily prospect find,
May find or there create?

To the stone-table in my garden,
Loved haunt of many a summer hour…”

John Keats - Ode to a Nightingale

After a long day working in the back yard, I sometimes sit with a glass of wine and a garden journal, trying to remember and note what is planted where. It’s a practice I often used to skip – trying instead to wring out the last daylight out doing whatever needs doing during this busy season before twilight chases me indoors.

In recent years, I find the stopping and sitting to be increasingly more important than the busy doing of gardening chores. My knees are worn out, and my sprained ankle continues to remind me it’s not quite ready to get back out into the game. Sitting on the bench, I find these aches and pains recede as I learn to observe and enjoy life’s daily prospect from my stone table.

The trick is for me to learn how to look at the garden and see beauty, to watch the bees, and listen to the wind. If I sit still, I can hear the water splashing into the pond nearby, the birds in the canyon nearby, and to hear somewhere in the distance an unseen dog barking and children shouting in sheer joy. It’s not easy for me to sit and appreciate what’s here now instead of seeing what needs doing tomorrow, or next week, or next year. But learning to enjoy mother earth’s humble mirth and tears is a skill worth mastering.


el said...

Every photo you post is a new prospect. How big IS this place, I wonder, every time I come here: to which you would undoubtedly answer, big enough to blow out one's knees, m'dear.

I do think taking it all in with a glass of wine is the exact unwinding one needs to do. To hell with those gardening notes! Your stone table seems a nice place to...cogitate.

tina said...

Oh yes it is indeed. I've been trying to enjoy and not stress in my garden. Doing a pretty good job too but still need more work. A glass of wine right now and a bench sounds good!

Shady Gardener said...

Absolutely! Learning to pause long enough to reflect, appreciate and journal is something I continue to dream about... and you have inspired me enough that perhaps tomorrow... Thank you. Have a wonderful rest of your day! :-)

TC said...

Indeed it is a "skill worth mastering." But I don't think it's ever realized. All I can find is a slight reprieve every now and then. And that's okay.

Cicero Sings said...

My husband is a master at relaxing ... watching and listening. I've learned from him to slow down and take in the sights, sounds and smells ... or should I say I am STILL learning.

Avis said...

You said it! What's the use in doing all that work if you don't stop to smell the roses, eh? Cheers!

colleen said...

What a lovely sentiment.

I find that a little more doing and less sitting is more often needed on my part.