Surrender 49: Creating a Little Chaos of My Own

With the temperatures reaching a high of 77 degrees today, I totally surrendered to the call of the outdoors. Such a gorgeous day in February was an exciting gift, one I couldn’t wait to unwrap and enjoy. Donning old clothes, gloves, and my straw gardening hat, I sauntered into the warm sunshine and started the process of tidying up the flower and herb gardens surrounding the house. 


My priority this afternoon was to cut back the tall grasses, still standing golden and tasseled in a variety of beds. I use a wonderful electric hedge trimmer to accomplish this task more easily. The clumps of decorative grass are cut down to six inches, to allow the new green stalks to appear and grow. 

Greg arrived, after a day of playing golf, just as I started working in the yard. He graciously offered his help! Between the two of us, the grasses were quickly cut back. Piling arm loads of stalks onto the brickio, I inhaled the fresh earthy scent of the dried grasses. I was reminded of the hay that my daughter Elissa used to toss into the horse stalls at feeding time. 

The trimmer was great at cutting back dry herbs too, and I caught the aroma of lemon grass, lemon balm, basil, rosemary, Russian sage and thyme. With wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour today, and a burn ban in effect, I didn’t start a fire in the fire pit. When the wind calms down I’ll burn the grasses and dried herbs in the fire pit, creating a unique outdoor potpourri that smells so wonderfully fragrant. 


The surprise this afternoon was discovering that my garden is already stirring from its winter slumber. The weather has been mild, with very few extremely cold days. The grasses, lemon balm and day lilies are pushing tender green shoots through the soil. The clematis has new growth appearing. And the lilac bush is budding. I realize it is unseasonably warm today, and there’s likely to be more cold days coming, but I’m hoping for an early spring. My heart filled with joy, seeing green in the garden today. 


I have more to do in the gardens the next few days, while the warm temperatures linger. It already looks differently after today’s labor…trimmed back, messy, bare…and poised to explode soon with every shade of green and riotous color.  I was so inspired recently by the movie A Little Chaos, as the gardeners in that film brought beauty forth from a wild and tangled plot of land. A bit of Eden was created, that contained both order and chaos. I deeply identify with that creative urge, to bring lush, abundant life from the ground that both pleases the eye, and the soul, and astounds them. I too am creating a bit of Eden…a little chaos and wildness of my own. This is paradise found, surely. 

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