Hi friends. I feel like I need to reintroduce myself. It has been a while since I’ve made an appearance here in Blogland. I think I got burned out a bit by writing, especially writing for money and publication. And well, let’s just be honest, the last year (or past several) has been beyond exhausting and stressful. Some of us more sensitive folks (HSP) weather the storms a little differently and things affect us in different ways. So, I just graciously bowed out of pretty much everything, with the exception of gardening, playing outside, hiking, doing lots of yoga, reading, and self-care. AND I don’t regret it one bit!
I also did a lot of cleaning out and decluttering. This house has over forty years of family artifacts and relics tucked in closets, the attic, crawl space, garage, hutches, drawers, shelves, basically EVERYWHERE. Stuff everywhere. But mostly, I gave myself permission to stop and rest. These fallow periods are necessary to gain some balance and create harmony in my life. And now I’m ready to restart.
I’m launching a new consulting business doing the thing I most love to do: garden. I’ve gardened in North Carolina for over thirty years. For nearly fourteen of those years, my profession was a gardener on a private historic estate. Gardening has brought me so much joy and serenity, and has provided me with endless opportunities for discovery, play, and adventure. My garden is my playground and laboratory! I want to encourage others to find joy, relaxation, and a sense of connection in their gardens. Connection to themselves, to each other, to their communities and ecosystems, and to the earth. As the Sengelese conservationist and forestry engineer Baba Dioum said: “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” I want to teach what I’ve learned by keeping step with nature’s rhythms through gardening.
There are so many benefits of gardening: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Spending time in nature heals our bodies, revives our spirits, keeps us active, and also increases memory and cognition. Research shows that just looking out a window with a garden view can reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood. I also believe working with plants is one of the best ways to find calm in these too-busy and socially-disconnected days. I hope to help folks get back in tune with seasonal rhythms, become more aware of what is happening right in front of them, and to stop merely living by what the pages of a calendar show.
And of course, climate change is changing the length of the “traditional” seasons. Summers are much longer here in the North Carolina piedmont, at least for the practicalities involving gardening. The best way I know of slowing climate change is to get more people interested in what is at stake if we keep plugging on business as usual. (See Dioum quote above:)) Get outside and grow!
So that’s what I’m up to. Friends have asked if I will continue writing. Yes, of course! The British writer and Gardeners’ World host Monty Don says he sees himself as a writer that gardens. I see myself as a gardener that writes. I hope to begin to blog here more regularly. I will also be writing more at my new business website. I hope you’ll stay tuned for upcoming details and follow me there, too.
It’s good to be back! I missed you guys! Thanks for not giving up on me:) I have continued to read your words, even if I stayed silent in the background.