Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Enjoying the process

Related thoughts:

* I have a vision in my head of what my garden will look like when it's done  (though anyone who gardens knows that this is impossible, as a garden is never done). This vision has served dual purposes. It drives me to continue to work outside, inching closer to the elusive end goal, but it also frustrates me to no end, as I'm not there yet and the garden doesn't look as good now as it will.

* Each spring, I'm so beyond thrilled to be outside again that I expend so much energy cleaning up and starting over. I try to get everything ready so that it looks good for some later date and find myself utterly exhausted and bored by July. I've been waiting for that feeling to return this year but thus far, it hasn't.

* After my July 2013 Bloom Day post, in which I confessed to not thinking there would be a lot to photograph, I've realized that there is so much color in parts of the garden that I want to cry because it's so beautiful. How did I not notice this before?


I've been instructed by yoga instructors to "focus on the breath" and have read in books on mindfulness that I should pay attention to the present. I know that Rome wasn't built in a day and have been advised to stop and smell the roses. But in most areas of my life, I've been too busy focusing on the end goal instead of the process. 

This advice was introduced yet again a few weeks ago in relation to another part of my life. Enjoy the process, don't focus so much on the result. Though this was probably the seven thousandth time I've heard it, it clicked this weekend.

I was digging out more sod in the side yard. The sun was shining, it was warm but not hot, and a gentle breeze blew. A butterfly danced in the air as it inspected my offerings. The soil was soft and loose beneath my gloves and the sod came apart easily. The day was truly, marvelously, amazingly gorgeous and I was so happy just digging in the dirt. Never mind that I still have so much more sod to remove before I can even start planting. Never mind that I was supposed to be going for a marathon training run instead. Never mind that I still haven't done anything to the forsythia to control its size.

No, on that day I was just smiling, watching, digging, enjoying. Later that evening, I enjoyed the back garden in its full glory when I really paid attention to what is going on right now instead of what I anticipate will be occurring in five years. At the risk of sounding over-dramatic, it was a transformative day.

Are you able to enjoy the process in your garden, or do you focus more on your end goal?

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this post, probably because I am the same way - always eager to get to the destination, and never taking time to value the experience itself. It's hard to change, but in the case of gardening, necessary!