dirty hands,
warm heart

I pulled a million dandelions out of my garden yesterday.

Okay, I exaggerate. A tad. But you know what? I enjoyed every minute of it. Not the dandelions themselves, but the work. The labor. The being outside in the sun listening to the birds sing
while breathing in the wonderfully fresh spring air kind of labor.
A labor of love.

My favorite way to spend a day, when I have a whole day to spend, is in my garden. No rushing, no agenda, just me, the earth, the plants, the birds, and perhaps a worm or two thrown in for good measure.

The hours pass silently, the way they will when you are doing something you love. I don’t think about them, clock them, care about them. I don’t spend them worrying about how fast they are flying by, the way I do most days.

I am suspended in garden time like a lazy bumblebee drifting from flower to flower. The sun on my back, a little Joni Mitchell or Ben Webster in the background. And the good, hard work. Simple work. The kind that lets your mind wander where it will, and somehow nudges those wanderings in just the right direction.

Sweating, but not the small stuff. Folding life down into a tiny microcosm, a world that exists just outside my vision most of the time. An ant struggling with a piece of food three times his size. Tree swallows taking turns bringing food to their babies. The sudden hush when a hawk flies over… so quiet that you stop what you are doing without knowing why.

You have to be there to notice these things. In the present. In the moment. This one moment that you only have while you are in it. The young swallows will fly away, soon. The ant will finish his journey and live, or die. The hawk will take something precious to another, but the birds will sing again, continue on.

I am glad I stole those hours. They were worth the extra work that will have to be made up later. They were hours of peace. And quiet. The kind of quiet that lets you listen to yourself, the world around you, the birds in the trees, the rustle of the wind.

The kind of quiet that lets you take it all in and keep it with you.

Until it soars back out as a smile.

8 Responses to “dirty hands,
warm heart”

  • whollyjeanne Says:

    another lovely post. I am a fallen master gardener, a gal who is a latecomer to allergies. I miss digging in the dirt, but alas, I like breathing better. tell you what: i’ll garden vicariously this year! xo

    • Mrs. Mediocrity Says:

      Thanks! I know what you mean, I also have bad allergies, get shots, take zyrtec daily. Some days it does keep me inside, but yesterday it was just too perfect out there!

  • the domestic fringe Says:

    That was beautiful! It’s nice to get lost in something every once in a while.

  • beth Says:

    i understand completely…
    and even though i cleaned out the valley at our cottage, i felt the same way !

    and in the valley….beer cans, water bottles, old trophies, old candles….all from my son and his friends and their “target practice” crap….

    but the sun was on my back….and the moss and ferns were like carpet under my feet…..oh spring !

  • Debi Says:

    i am a latecomer to this joy, to this expectation of things to come + it gets hot in Texas and the fun wears off quickly for me. But when I stand at the sink & eat a homegrown tomato, saltshaker in one hand, juices dripping down my chin, it is all worth it.

    this is a beautiful post and it’s how you hooked me.


  • jill Says:

    I did the exact same thing yesterday, and while doing so, I had my first caterpillar sighting of the year which became my photo of the day today. You are so right ~ there is an entire world out there that goes unnoticed unless you embed yourself in it! Great post and have a lovely weekend! 🙂

  • jane Says:

    “until it soars back out in a smile” what a tribute to earthday! <3

  • georgia Says:

    you have such a way with words. i enjoyed reading about your experience gardening. i know just what you mean. although it is only an herb garden, i get that same sense. i suspect i will enjoy it even more this year than last year… i’ll be a little more seasoned at it.

    i still remember pulling dandelion weeds from my mom’s flower garden. i hated it, but i was a child then. now, i would take great pleasure in it.

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