4/29/11

Plant a Garden

With overgrown trees shading our usual spot, heaps of soil to move, and the discovery that mice had recently helped themselves to our seeds, it would have been easy to talk myself out of a vegetable garden this year.

Then I saw a head of rogue lettuce,
and also some swiss chard, parsley, and oregano growing back on their own.  This kindled my energy to get going.

Organic foods and time outdoors are a big part of my healthy, holistic, creative living, so I cleared away time each day this week, and plugged away steadily.  I stuck to a simple layout that gives the most growing space, and experimented with growing some things I haven't tried before, like brussels sprouts and collard greens.  As I planted, I marveled at the wonders of seeds and their innate creativity and ability to transform themselves.
It turned out to be a beautiful week to sow the garden.  As the weather warms, there'll be more to plant. The beds are ready now and I'm looking forward to lots of growth and good salads soon.
If you don't have a vegetable garden and have considered it, here's a summary of an easy way to get started:
  • Find a sunny spot 
  • No need to turn the soil; Remove large weeds then mow it as low as possible.
  • Cover the area with layers of newspaper (with black ink, which uses natural carbon ink)
  • Heap mushroom soil (or composted soil) on top in rows about 4' wide and leave space between rows for walking 
  • Plant organic seeds or seedlings when it's time
  • Keep the newly planted seeds watered till they sprout, and water the garden during dry spells
  • Eat 
For further details, there are many good resources, such as Lee Reich's Weedless Gardening or Rodale's Organic Gardening.  Best of luck with your gardening ventures.

    4/28/11

    Unwavering

    The art of living our creative life is a continuous and growing process.  Steady does not mean static.  If our practice is never-changing, then we'll mostly get the same results instead of new discoveries or breakthroughs.
    Sometimes we'll choose to drop one practice in favor of another.  Or, we may decide to pursue other directions and give a lesser priority and time allotment to an endeavor.  In some areas it's more enjoyable to remain a novice or dabbler rather than putting in the 10,000 hours needed to master something.

    When we discover our truest passion and talent, we'll want to be more dedicated to it.  If so, we can proceed with hearts and minds aligned and unwavering.  Steadiness will see us through and get us over the bumpy times.  

    4/27/11

    Balance

    Life may throw in challenges, progress at times will seem slow, doubts and conflicts may inevitably set in, and changing circumstances may conspire to pull us off our creative track.
    Without steady committed practice, we can lose momentum and inertia sets in.
    If we carve out the time and space for what's most important in the art of our lives, 
    we can fit the rest of our To Do's around this.
    Each of us can strive towards balance by looking at the hours and energy we give to all aspects of life- family, relations, art, work, chores, recreation, well-being, etc.  We can let go of areas in our lives that are time and energy drains, and substitute them with what enlivens and enriches us.    

    4/25/11

    Zen Gardening

    It was a nice space, mostly away from computers 
    and filled with lots of boy giggles and baby hugs.
    This photo, shot several years ago, embodies the peace and 
    joy I'm feeling after a break from my normal routine: 
    I returned from my daughter's farm to find heaps on my driveway– 6 yards of mulch and 4 yards of mushroom soil.  This seemed like a task that might never end, but I dug right into spreading what felt like miles of mulch around my garden beds.  I remembered a zen story about a boy moving a hill, 1 shovelful at a time; and so tackled my mulch mountain, bucket by bucketful. This week I'll be spreading the mushroom soil and getting my vegetable garden started.  

    There's nothing like springtime to co-create with nature, with feet and hands digging in the earth. I'm currently reading Earthing, with interesting information suggesting why it feels so good when we connect with the earth, as it grounds our energies, improves feelings of wellness, and helps to naturally counteract free radicals on a bioenergetic level.  As the weather improves, I look forward to more earthing, and wish you plenty of time for natural, grounded wellness too.   What do you do to renew your energy in the spring?

    4/11/11

    Leila

    Welcome sweet Leila
     Born 4/6/2011 at 10:37 AM, 8lbs 8oz

    With the help of a loving brother
    and terrific family
    and grandparents and friends, Leila has already gotten a wonderful start.

    Who knows where her life will lead and what she'll create in this world?
    I'll stand by loving, encouraging and watching in amazement. 


    4/8/11

    What I Created This Week

    I recently found there's something even more marvelous than creating sons and daughters. 
    That's creating grandchildren.  

    You may think I didn't create them, but I sure have made 
    a wide open space in my heart for them.  


     Anna and Brooks, thanks for your help in this, you've done an amazing, 
    powerful, perfect job of creating.  Now it's time to nurture and enjoy. 

    "And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, 
    handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves 
    never hoped to see– or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read."  Alice Walker

    4/7/11

    Creating Family

    Here it is, a little ol' nutty family, and a puppy too, out for their daily stroll.  
     Creating family may be one of the highests thing a person can do. 

    Years ago, when I birthed my first daughter Anna, I fell instantly and permanently in love.  I couldn't take my eyes off her. She was perfect and beautiful and amazing in every way. It felt like the pressure to achieve anything else was completely lifted from my shoulders. 

    How can you trump the miracle of creating life, 
    bringing new little spirits into the world? 

    We were blessed with a son and another daughter, each time renewing that 
    deep love and sense of perfection, marvels, and unique creation. 
    You may argue that I didn't really create them, 
    I just gave the space for them to be. 

    I would agree.

    Looking back from where I am now, with my children grown and an empty nest, 
    it's possible they had more influence on creating who I am than all my effort, 
    energy and intention to positively influence them. For this, I send my deepest thanks. 

    We can give our children their best start, 
     love and nurture them with open heart,
    and grow together, enjoying, and seeing how they 
    continue to create their lives as they move beyond us. 

    4/6/11

    Nuts & Bolts

    Working with these dusty nuts, screws, and bolts led me to think about 
    all the interesting and flavorful nuts in my family. 
    Hopefully we all have the bolts, or strong ones in our lives, those pillars who help hold everyone and everything together.  Maybe some individuals in our families are a little nuttier, spontaneous, and at times a bit screwy loose.  Each family member has helped shape my life, nurturing and supporting, annoying, entertaining, confusing, or 
    challenging and leading me to new ways of understanding the world and my role.  
    I dance my quirky life between all the nuts and bolts I love. 

    Is it just me, or do you also 
    have some lovely screwy wonders in your life?

    4/5/11

    The Open Box


    Perhaps you've been waiting breathlessly 
    to discover what's in my box. 

    Wait no longer. 

    Please, breathe.

    Breathe deeply. 

    Breathe moving your ribs out on the inhale, 
    and in on the exhale, 
    giving your heart and lungs a beautiful massage.  

    Now, inhale, 
    filling your lungs completely, 

    and exhale, ready for a peak inside:
    Here's the close-up view:
    Yes, inhale again.  
    It's really a box filled with dirty, rusty, mostly broken nuts and bolts. When I found this again, I momentarily considered throwing it out or reburying it somewhere deeper, like on my husband's workbench. I quickly talked sense back into me and decided to immediately make something out of it, thereby proving it's worth, validating the purchase, and quelling any notion that I could be bordering on some sort of... something, let's leave it unnamed. Worries and visions of hoarders anonymous coming to excavate me and dragging my good stuff away were quickly dispelled and replaced with relief and conviction. 
    I set right to the project at hand...

    4/4/11

    The Box

    Are there any pack rats out there?

    I don't much like to shop, but love to bargain hunt at yard sales and thrift shops. 
    I rationalize this obsession of rummaging through others' discards by the thought 
    that I'm doing my little part to keep things out of the landfills and
    creating less new junk in the world. It also sparks my creative juices to 
    find interesting things and wonder at their history.  

    So, the other day I was searching for something and ran across this box.
    I had completely forgotten about it, having picked it up about 2 summers ago, a steal at just 25 cents.  When I opened it and remembered my intention for it, I really wondered if maybe I should just start saving my quarters.  For that matter, maybe it's time to start some serious spring cleaning and get rid of all these wonderful treasures that I'm going to make something out of some day.  

    The thing about boxes is their capacity to hold, conceal, and protect whatever we tuck 
    into them. Over the years I've gathered a few boxes, and let many others go. The 
    well-worn cedar chest these are posing on is from my grandma, who, when I begged,
    would occasionally let me peak at what she was saving inside. 
    Who can resist an unopened box?
    Sometimes, it's the simplest box that holds our favorite things.
    The heart is it's own container, holding all that's dearest and matters most.
    We're like a box within a box, with our bodies holding our hearts. 
    We can clench and try to conceal or protect what's inside, 
    or we can open and let out the wonders within

    This week, with a little help, I'm creating 
    something very special and can't wait to share it.  
    What are you up to?  What favorite box do you fill, and with what?