Perenennial gardening: a hobby that reinstates my sense of calm

Three ways my favorite hobby benefits my well-being during the CVD era

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Echinacea? Astible? or Buddleja? It’s hard to believe that there was a time when I did not know these names and the perennials they represented.

Twenty five years as a gardener has shifted my perception of the surprises of nature and the blessings of the blooms.

It is no wonder, then, that as the Coronavirus has taken the States by storm, that I retreat to my happy place for solace and to re-center myself.

As I water my annual flowers, deadhead perennials blooms and prune the ever-growing shrubs, I find comfort in the following:

  1. A reminder that I’m but a speck in Creation’s plan. In mid-Spring, I nurture the garden’s soil, preparing it for another season. Colorful annual flowers are planted for a whimsical pop of color throughout the garden. The birdbath is strategically placed by the bird feeders, to attract some of the region’s most glorious birds and bees. Life is happening all around me; I am just one cog in this divine wheel. In the Fall, I carefully prune back the dormant leaves, preparing them for the winter months. Often, I’ll add extra mulch around my delicate perennials to ensure they survive the sometimes harsh northeastern weather.
  2. All life unfolds at just the right time. Despite how much I look forward to seeing new blooms, I have come to know that there is nothing I can do to rush the growing, budding and blooming process. Same principle applies in life. While I appreciate the time of sowing and reaping (in my garden, I prominently display a sign citing the verses from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven), it has been through gardening that I have learned the art of patience and allowing life to reveal itself to me, in its time, not mine.
  3. As I busy myself in the mundane trappings of garden maintenance, I am not thinking of how CVD is snuffing out lives across the globe. I only need to look around my gardens to see all sorts of signs of life. The squirrels and chipmunks are sauntering about. The birds are bathing without a care in the world. Baby rabbits are braving their new world, venturing just a bit farther than yesterday from their moms. Thanks be to God that my family and I are healthy and safe. While garden chores occupy my thoughts, I re-connect to my divinity. In these moments, I am well.

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