I love my garden. I love to water it, pull out weeds, check out the little bugs wandering around in it, and most of all, admire it. My favorite part of my garden is my vegetable garden, a very thoughtful housewarming gift from my parents. They built me a raised planter bed that has given me baskets and baskets of broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, basil-oh the basil!!!, chilis, bell peppers, and so on in the five years we have lived here.
My flower bed in the front is a close second, because it is the first thing I see when I get home. When it is blooming and thriving, it feels like my house is giving me a hug when I arrive. But, today I walked out in my front yard and realized that my garden was a disaster. Some plants were dead, there were whole areas of the front flower beds that were just filled with dirt and nothing else, my sugar snap peas were brown and/or shriveled up, and there was a lot of “kid detritus” (random collection of broken toys, deflated balls, and legos) everywhere. Now, let me mention that I live in Southern California, so while it is SUPER cold right now (61 degrees!!!! The horrors!), I can’t really use the weather as an excuse for this neglected mess in my yard. In fact, we have had a few rain storms in the last few weeks, so things are growing a bit more than usual (by “things” I pretty much mean weeds).
So I started thinking-when is the last time I have planted, preened, pruned, and prettied up around here? And sadly, I couldn’t even remember. So what did I do? I headed to Home Depot and bought a big cart full of plants and came home and dug in. It was fun and dirty and peaceful and beautiful. My kids entertained themselves playing, my husband relaxed, and I made my garden pretty again. Nothing fancy, just a few plants, but they made me smile every time I looked at them today. And I know they will tomorrow also.
More importantly, I felt proud and centered and like me. It always surprises me how easy it is to get out of the habit of doing the things that make me feel good. Which is weird, because these things make me better-a better mom, a better wife, a better employee, and most importantly, a better me. I am so glad that my sad garden revealed itself to me this morning and reminded me to do the things I love and take care of myself.