The Herbarie

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Swimming Through the Changes

Fall is a time for transitions and changes. I've never especially liked change so this is a challenge for me and moves me from my comfort zone. Autumn, although beautiful, is not my favorite time of year. I'm always at odds with Autumn. While others happily notice the leaves turning from green to gold and the weather becoming brisk and cool, I tend to notice the zinnias sadly dying and squirrels frantically scurrying and feel that I must hurry too.

For the past few weeks I have been busy, busy, busy with day to day details. I was beginning to feel like those squirrels scurrying back and forth across the road - hurrying and trying to go in several directions at once. This past week I realized that I had not spent time in my garden for over two weeks. I had been outside to quickly harvest botanicals, but I didn't linger. I didn't watch the birds or butterflies and surely didn't stop to smell the roses. I had stopped doing my yoga routine since the mornings were too chilly in the garden and decided that I just didn't have time anyway. Then yesterday I realized that I didn't feel well. I could think of a million things that need to be done to run the business and a million things that need to be done to take care of the other day to day stuff, but couldn't tell you what I had eaten for lunch or even if I had eaten lunch. I was losing touch with myself. Are the squirrels trying to tell me something?? I know what I need to do to be whole and healthy, but usually put myself last because so many other things need to be done - isn't this what we all often do?

I have to remind myself that in order to be able to give my best to others I have to be healthy and well. For me to be well in mind, body and soul, I know I must be in touch with myself and grounded with the earth, the plants and the animals and those who are dear to me. Yes, it's literally about taking time to smell the roses, touch the roses, dig in the earth, nibble on the herbs, water the plants, feed the fish, talk to the frogs - yes talk to the frogs!

Yesterday, I spent the day in the garden pulling up my dear dying zinnias. They are still trying their best to grow tall with brilliant orange and yellow flowers and it's not easy for me to pull them up. But I give honor to the plants as I realize they have lived their season and it's time to go. And now I understand and have faith that their seeds will sprout life for flowers that bloom next summer. As I pull them up, we make way for the beautiful Camellia sasanqua, Pineapple Sage, Mexican Sage and others that are now in bloom.

Next, I cleaned my pond and spent time with Spot and Plain, my two goldfish that have grown from one inch to 6 inches. I sang songs to my frogs and whoever else could tolerate my off key songs. I sat for a while and just enjoyed being alive. It felt good to see the blue sky and notice how my collards are growing so nicely. I remembered to eat lunch.

Again, I am always sad when the ruby throated summer hummers leave and we've not seen them since the end of September. But while I sat in the garden I was surprised to hear the familiar humming sound and I noticed one little hummer at the flowering sage! My first thought was of Joy, my winter hummer from two years ago - could it be? Then I told myself that's it's far more likely one of the summer hummers passing through. I didn't get a good look so I'm not sure. I always leave the sugar water feeders up through the winter just in case we do have visitors and just in case Joy or one of her family decides to come back. I'll be watching for her.

Now, I've changed from my morning yoga routine in the garden to morning yoga inside with exquisite Gary Stadler music. Instead of the aromatherapy of my outside garden I enjoy my inside garden with my ferns and orchids and my atomizer with essential oils of Geranium, Clary Sage, Cedarwood virginiana. The view of the forest as the sun comes up is beautiful and I am reassured of the cyclical changes of the seasons. We've been this way before and we'll come this way again.

Spot and Plain will soon be wintering in our basement in a nice, new aquarium. They will be a part of my morning yoga class! My Zinnias have thrown their seeds to the earth and will be back next summer. Next summer will be the 10th or 11th year they have reseeded themselves. I try to keep the faith and look forward to the next generation.

Go with the flow, live through the cycles - be like Spot and Plain - just keep swimming.

Best Fall Wishes To You!