I look forward every spring to the first official planting day in the garden. The date varies from year to year, depending on the weather, but it always arrives, exactly on time. Warm temps and sunshine yesterday signaled that this was it…time to don gardening clothes and gather empty pots and hand tools.
Because tomorrow the forecast calls for wintry weather again, I didn’t plant in the ground. But it was the perfect opportunity to weed, check on perennials that are pushing up through the ground, and tuck some annuals into clay pots. Greg at last got to finish burning the decorative grass stalks left over after trimming back the tall plants weeks ago. The “haystack” is gone.
After tidying up beds and pulling early weeds, I busied myself with what has become a yearly spring tradition. I planted flowers in the clay pots that fill Annie’s red wooden box on the front porch. This activity shifts me fully into spring mode, and connects me spiritually with my dear Aunt Annie, who passed away three years ago. This box was hers. I was allowed to bring it home as a keepsake. It graces my front porch.
I own a good pair of gardening gloves. They stayed on my hands for about five minutes then off they came. I love getting my hands in the dirt and physically connecting with the earth and the plants as I handle them. Although the gloves protect my hands when I’m working with decorative grasses or pulling weeds, I don’t like the barrier they create between me and living plants. Even the dirt is rich with life and I love using my hands instead of a trowel when I am planting.
Like so many other activities in my life, gardening is meditative for me. Planting, pruning, weeding and watering are good for the garden and good for me as well. Being busy in the garden gives me time to sort through things in my mind, heart and soul all while soaking up healing sunlight and breathing in fresh air. It is restorative to me, at a deep level.
And, gardening is rewarding to me. A little work transforms empty spaces or overgrown beds, bringing life and color where there was barrenness or dullness. I am rewarded as well, infusing my life with vibrancy.
Annie’s box turned out great. It looks a bit different every year, depending on the annuals I use. This year the pots nestled with the box are full of pink and white begonias. I lit candles near the box last night, as a nearly full moon rose to the east. The flickering white lights welcomed spring, and honored my aunt and my dad, whose death anniversary was yesterday. Beauty and peace filled my soul.