Tuesday, March 18, 2014

One Thousand Reasons to Smile

    I didn't actually count the neon blue blossoms emerging from the barren soil at the front of my yard this week. It may be more than 1,000 by now--each one delivering a surge of vitality. Each one reaffirming the resiliency of life! 

Reasons to Smile
    Last fall as I painstakingly plugged 1,000 small grape hyacinth bulbs into the stubborn clay above the front sidewalk, I questioned the vision that had launched this project. My back ached, my legs complained, my arms protested the rigors of digging. 

     Today, I stand upright on the walk and bask in the pride of achievement. Oh, such satisfaction these vigorous new bulbs are emitting. So much gardening seems thankless to me--the endless raking of leaves, pulling of weeds.  But today I'm giving thanks for this garden!  It is gratitude I find in this hardy burst of color. Gratitude I feel for a metaphor that mirrors seasons of dormancy and rebirth in myself. 

The Way it Was
     In October, I attacked these bulbs in an act of defiance as I fought the listlessness of my own spirit. In a blog post back then, I diagnosed my malady as PDD--Project Deficit Disorder. The bulbs were my antidote. One thousand bulbs would most certainly provide a project. But when the bulbs were in and the monochrome of winter settled over landscape and attitude, lethargy once more dulled my dreams and visions.

The Project!
     I'm conscious, even reverent, about these cycles in nature (to everything there is a season, etc.) My hikes to the summit of Pisgah inevitably bring me to a moment of reflection at the summit where I acknowledge the seasonal cycles in the four directions:
     Spring in the East: Fresh starts, fresh air
     Summer in the South: Growth and warmth and love
     Fall in the West: Harvest and reflection
     Winter in the North: Completion, rest, recovery

March 2014
     In my life, of course, I see the same revolutions in spite of my insistent effforts to control the cycles I so respect in nature. It's human nature, I suppose. Something we all experience and alternately celebrate or complain about. So, I'll celebrate while I can! 

     This spring, the cycle of fresh starts and creative vigor is right on target for me, impacting more than the blooms in my yard. At my desk, a season of creative dormancy has transitioned into a season of possibilities, alive and surging with energy. I find myself grooming the soil and feeding fresh shoots of a new writing project. (More to come on that soon.) No signs of Project Deficit Disorder this month! Another reason for me to smile. 


  1. Yes!! They are so beautiful! I'm so glad you posted the before and after pictures. I wish your readers could see the gorgeous swath of color in person as I am able to.

    1. Beautiful, yes! And I'm glad you can share the sense of achievement in this project. I stayed inside and wrote today -- I don't know how you manage to garden every day!


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