A few weekends ago there was a freeze warning here in Nashville. It was a little early in the season, but I bought some bulbs way back in August, so I figured it was about time I dug some trenches and put those puppies in the ground.
Planting bulbs in the fall is a strange experience because you are getting ready for an event that is months away. It’s only October, and with two months left in the year, that means there’s at least 3 months before any of those plants start to make their way above the ground.
But to plan my garden, I have to envision what those potential flowers are going to become–12 inch bushes or 16 inch spikes or towering 30-inch pillars. Where will each of these go? Where will they look best and get the right amount of light?
Turns out this planning went out the window after a while, because I had so many bulbs. If you’ve ever spent some time on your knees putting bulbs into the ground, you know it’s not a job to extend.
As I was digging, placing, covering, placing , and covering some more, I began to think how much the act of gardening is like my meditation practice. There’s the immediate effect of, “gosh, this feels good” when the action is complete. I feel accomplished and happy for checking a job off my list. And of course there are the immediate physical benefits of both actions.
The best part of both is the surprise. Just when you can’t handle winter any longer, daffodils begin to sprout. Those cool late spring rains bring the tulips up and remind you that summer is nearly here, the sun is almost out.
Same thing with meditation. When you feel like life is dark, the practice can give you insight. When you might otherwise fly off the handle in anger, the practice brings distance and peace. It surprises you with changes when you least expect.
How do you plant your garden(in your yard or in your mind!)? Leave tips in the comments!