""Blessings Strengthen life and feed life just as water does." Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

This blog is a digital blessing bowl, a place to record the small blessings that are often missed or forgotten but which make life holy. Feel free to add your own blessings to my blessing bowl. Or perhaps you'll be encouraged to start your own.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lost and found

When I was grieving the death of our sweet dog Bear last week what I most wanted to do was go out in my garden and work.  I wanted to lose myself in that work - it was the best therapy I could think of.  Because I have a job (for which I'm very thankful) I wasn't able to work in the garden and instead tried to lose myself in my desk work.  It wasn't the same.  It did help me forget for moments at a time but it didn't help me step out of myself and see things differently.  It wasn't the healing balm that gardening is.

Yesterday I wrote on my gardening blog that the garden is a place of solace.  Gardens can be places of healing even for those who don't dig and weed and plant in them.  They can be peaceful places, especially those where the sounds, fragrances, and colors are soothing.  Being in my garden or any beautiful garden gives me that peace but working in my garden does so much more.  It gives me perspective on my place in the world, it gives me a sense of connection, it reminds me that "this too shall pass."  The hard physical labor and resulting sweat have a cleansing effect on my soul.  Gardening lifts me up and out of myself.

I like to think that the pain is carried away a little at a time on the wings of the butterflies.
Long before my days as a gardener I found similar solace in other creative activities - bread baking, sewing, and needlework - and in being a mother, the most creative activity of all.  There's a common thread in all of these - they all involve using the body, especially the hands,  to express something from the heart.  And they all draw you spiritually out of yourself and into the work -  which in turn connects you to the world beyond yourself.  You begin looking outward instead of inward.  Your view of the world shifts.  
In losing myself in this work of the hands and heart I find peace.  And though the pain doesn't disappear,  it is made bearable.

For an earlier post on my gardening blog about handwork, gardening, and creativity go here.  

1 comment:

FlowerLady said...

Thank you for this uplifting and inspiring post.