Mindfulness is about being in the present. Being in the now. Focus, Savor, and Be.

 

Spent some time with my plants this weekend. It was long overdue – for them and for me. As I examined each specimen, I took note of new growth. Baby plants or offshoots seem to confirm that nature and I am doing something right. Roots escaping their confines.They make me happy. And of course, the dried deterioration of fallen leaves require tending because they continue to draw energy away from the plant.

And so the state of mindfulness begins…

I take note of the weather. The sun is out, but storms are setting in in the distance creating an impending darkness. I still have time, the wind has not yet begun to blow and the birds are still singing. I gather the plants that will receive special love and attention today and line them up considering their needs. I gather up my tools, potting soil, pots, shovel, watering can. No gloves… I love the feel of the soil on my hands despite what it does to my fingernails.

The soil…

As I gently remove each plant, minding for any thorns, from its’ pot I see that some have made good use of the original soil they were placed in, leaving little. With both my hands, I loosen the roots shaking loose and removing any dryness in the micro roots and the plant itself. As I bring my bag of new soil into the work area I take notice of it’s heft and the working of my muscles as I move it. Opening it, I am greeted by the smell of freshness and potential. Running my hands through it to loosen it I notice its’ coolness. And, each time I find a chunk and crush it in my hand I feel the power of me now as the chunk explodes and falls apart.

Potting…

Gardening isn’t about just getting some plants into the soil. Gardening is about lovingly placing them in a new home where they can thrive. Doing your best to make the conditions right, but not giving them so much attention that they become dependent on the gardener for any growth to happen. They are meant to be enjoyed, not slaved upon. This begins with selecting the right receptacle, picturing in the mind’s eye the color, the balance, the shape. Taking into consideration room to grow. Not too much and not too little. Preparing for irrigation by taking each stone, chosen for its size and shape, and placing it in the bottom of the pot in such a way that water can escape at a slow pace, but soil can’t. I take that first heap of soil and place it in the pot taking notice of how it falls into a gentle hill. Another heap and another until it seems like enough. I reach in and create a “bed” for sustaining life. Part the soil, move it about being mindful not to crush it. Roots need some softness to grow. I gently take the plant and set it in the pot knowing that this is the home I have chosen for it. Looking at it, considering its’ trajectory, accommodating it, and adjusting it until that feeling of satisfaction sinks in. Then, lock it in. More soil, patting, pushing, shifting. Ensuring that it is stable and steady enough to withstand the element of wind.

Stand back…

Stand back and admire for a moment. Notice how the green of the stem meets with the black of the soil. A miracle indeed that this simple joining can bring so much beauty. I look at my hands covered in dirt; grainy, sticking, worked. Now time to water the plant and my hands. Beginning with my hands, I feel the coolness of the water and the dirt releasing from my skin and falling to the ground leaving smoothness. There’s a smell that happens when water meets dirt; akin to when it hasn’t rained for awhile. Notice as the water meets the soil how it sinks in. Keep pouring, keep pouring until it negotiates its way through the soil and rocks. This is the gardener’s way of telling the plant “Welcome Home”.

LW!