It occurred to me today, as I went out to do some garden clean up, that in some ways, the first day of spring can be much like New Years Day. Both days can be full of resolutions. Granted, for some, there is still snow on the first day of spring, so for those who still waiting, replace first day of Spring with First-day-of-Real-gardening-after-the-snow-is-gone.
So what are the similarities? Well,on New Years Day, I sometimes think I really must change my ways, have a fresh start. I decide I must get more exercise, really must get into shape, must stop eating all those lovely chocolate goodies. Or I decide I really should try to have a really tidy house, all the time, not just before company comes. Or I decide that this year I will be calm, contemplative, meditative and stress free. Of course, more exercise just becomes more walks and I don’t stop eating goodies but do try to eat less of them. Having a tidy house all the time lasts for about a week. But I have stuck with trying to meditate more. So, what about my first day of Spring resolutions?
Well, come the first day of Spring, I tell myself that this year when it comes to gardening, I will not over do it and will instead pace myself, take lots of breaks and for once, avoid giving myself a nasty case of muscle spasms. I even thought maybe this year I would only allow myself one hour of weeding per day. I always hope to have a much nicer garden, maintained, weeded, not such a hodge podge. But instead of trying to do it all right away, I will remind myself that I have all spring and summer and I can take my time.
Of course, all that goes out the window on the first day of Spring. Gone is the plan to go slow, not spend the whole day bent over, not to try to do too much. Of course, more than one bed got weeded, more than one area got cleaned up. The little green wagon filled with weeds and also 2 big garbage buckets filled with garden waste to take to the garden recycle. We just couldn’t STOP!
But on a positive note, I did take care of my knees. You may laugh at my little stool with the old pillow wrapped in plastic bags but me “sitting and weeding my way around the garden”, instead of kneeling my way around the garden really saved my knees.
But oddly enough, I was reminded of one of my New Year’s resolutions to try to be calm and more contemplative while I was slowly and methodically weeding the paths in the herb garden. It came to me as I worked that I needed to think about the mood I’m in when I garden. Am I combative, ready to wage war with the weeds, a control freak who needs everything in its place, every bed edged? Or am I calm and accepting, ready to just enjoy the day and the feeling of accomplishment as I slowly get something done, ready to accept the little surprises that grow where I didn’t plant them? One way is stressful, full of anger sometimes, and often disappointment. The other contemplative, meditative, generally happier and stressfree. I think this will be one thought and perhaps a new resolution, that I will try to carry with me from now on, when I venture out to tend to the garden.
An in the end, resolutions kept or not, as Will put it, after a day out in the garden you always do feel great mentally, although the physical part, the sore muscles, the aching back don’t always feel quite so good as we pop an anti-inflammatory and finally relax by vegging on the couch for the evening.