Take a Load Off
May 10 2020
Someone once said to me that I have all these sitting places in my gardens and I never sit in them. It’s somewhat true. I sit down, see a weed and jump up to pull it. I remember that I forgot to move a sprinkler and I can’t relax until I do that. My garden is a never ending list of tasks, which is the way I like it. Kind of like burying your nose in a good book and never wanting it to end. I enjoy the process, probably more than the end. The creation of a new garden, new plants, new design, new path, new anything is always exciting.
Whenever I design a new garden, I usually include a bench, a swing, a little table and chairs, or maybe just a big rock you can sit on. Sitting areas are an open invitation to sit a spell, take a load off even if I seldom use them. The welcoming ambiance is there and my intentions are good!
Occasionally I do sit, however, and my favorite place is the padded swing. Maybe it’s the soothing movement (only slow swingers are allowed to sit with me) that I find quiets my mind.
On the day I am thinking of, I sat down in the swing, my shovel by my side, while I was deciding which way to go next. There was a heavily blooming ‘John Davis’ shrub rose growing up the side of the black iron gazebo where my swing sits, and I was mindlessly looking at the pink roses against the black iron railing and it came to me that it wasn’t just pretty, it was perfect. There was nothing in the universe that could improve upon that moment. A gentle ecstasy was afoot and I am everlastingly grateful that I was given this gift and that I was able to see it. I believe that for a few moments the artificial lines between me and nature were blurred, if not gone. I felt only peace.
Though these words seem inadequate, I do not wish to muddy up those moments with deep philosophical meanderings at the risk of anthropomorphizing the experience. I do not need to know who or why, just accept that I am a part of a sometimes amazing universe.
Not wishing to disturb that feeling that the world was at least momentarily, right then and there, perfect, I sat quietly and lost track of time. What more could anyone ask of a garden, or life for that matter?
But of course what we call the real world (no irony intended) intruded and I picked up my shovel and headed off to my next task. But I keep that vision like a jewel tucked away next to my heart as I trudge, sometimes wearily, around my gardens. For I did ‘take a load off’ in every sense, even conscious thinking, worrying, planning were temporarily set aside.
That day, a gazebo, a swing and a pink rose were the magic ingredients but I’ll keep my eyes and my heart open for the next time. Because now I know it’s out there.
‘John Davis’ rose, hardy, zone 2, double, fragrant pink climber, Canadian Explorer series