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Mar 26, 2020

With all that is going on around the world with the Coronavirus, I have felt overwhelmed recently, probably you are too. If you are following a mandate to stay at home, like I am, then the challenge becomes what to do with one's time, and how to occupy the mind. I am so fortunate to have a large back garden. Normally, during March, I am thinking to myself, "How will I find the time to tidy up this huge garden, and get it ready for the spring?" With plenty of work outside of the home, it is always difficult to get projects at home finished. Well, all of that has changed now. With just a tiny trickle of work left, I now have no excuses but to finish everything I haven't at home. So, at the moment the garden is my focus. Working in it is like a mental health break for me. It's exercise, fresh air, sunshine, birds singing, and seeing progress. All of these things combat anxiety. I don't tend to be anxious normally, but we are living at the moment in a stressful situation globally, and quite honestly, I think we all must be feeling it. So I have raked leaves, pruned blackberry bushes, dug up grass, sown flower seeds, and transplanted some perennials. Wow! It felt good. Part of the benefit of physical labor in a garden is the fact that you are planning for the future, it's a sense of control or at least hope for the coming months. Even if you don't have a garden, perhaps you live in an apartment, a tiny bit of gardening can be done in a container. All you need is a pot, preferably a proper plant pot that has a drainage hole in it. Put it on a plate to catch the excess water, fill it with earth, and put some seeds in it. Grow something you love, perhaps even something you can eat. One of the most satisfying plants to grow from seed is a green bean. Why? The bean seed is big, very visible, and it germinates quickly. And they are not fussy, as far as seeds go. As long as they get some water and some sun, they are guaranteed to grow, and are therefore rewarding. Planting a seed is an exercise in faith, I think, because you trust that germination and growth will happen as it has for millions of years. It's a process we see all around us no matter what, and we can rely on it continuing to be there, and to be normal, even if our lives at the moment are not. That, to me, is a comfort.