One of my favorite places to be is outside in my gardens, digging through the dirt, noticing little details. Feeling warmth from the sun. Hearing the small sounds of life around me. And I’m really missing it. Gardening is the best stress release for me. Suffice it to say that I’m definitely feeling the lack of gardening in my daily life right now.
So I have a choice. I can get anxious and verbalize my worry about looming exams and new clinical rotations, or I can take a minute to breathe and be thankful. To remember that I have four people inside my home who make me happier than I ever imagined. To be thankful for a supportive, understanding husband who smiles with those blue eyes, helping to take my stress away. For 3 little kids who say such funny things and give such joyful little hugs when they bound off the bus after school– who are growing so quickly into little people with whom I love to hold a conversation. I can be thankful for a healthy family, a warm home, a clean place to lay my head at night. I can choose to remember that there are so many who are hurting in unspeakable ways through the loss of their families, homes, and livelihoods. So many who are searching for hope through the ruin and rubble that surrounds them.
So I miss my garden, but I found the next best thing. Because there’s nothing like a little walk in the yard to remember that hope springs forth, and even in the midst of a season I strongly dislike, there’s beauty. Beauty in the spent asparagus fronds that still stand, so delicate, but somehow strong enough to stay erect. Beauty in curling grapevines that will soon be covered with large green leaves. There’s hope in the climbing hydrangea vines that cling to our brick house– because in a few weeks, little white buds will appear, making me smile. There’s beauty in the light cast on the snow, showing colors that I have no adequate name for. Beauty that is coupled with my favorite golden hour of warmest light. All the colors of winter that I didn’t see from a distance come together and make me realize that this little season of our life will pass, too. But while we’re in its busyness together, we can actively seek out the brightest parts, and let the daily hindrances recede into soft focus. We can realize that there’s beauty right in the here and now. And then somehow, this little season of our life really doesn’t seem so stressful after all.
“One day at a time– this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”
-Ida Scott Taylor, English author