View from the deck on a glorious morning in early June.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kindness for an old ADDer's garden: done is done.

Ever since I became aware of the phenomenon ADD I have maintained that if it exists, I have it. The labeling of human character traits as dysfunction is another topic. ADD is handy as a short-speak. Look! Pretty daisy! 

Few activities are as ADD-genic as gardening on a large scale.

No matter what one is doing, something else is also hollering for attention. There is an optimum time for all garden tasks. That time is usually yesterday. 

When we add planting by the Moon it gets even worse. I have learned the hard way to ignore that factor. In the past I have postponed certain actions because the Moon wasn't just right, only to miss the supposedly perfect moment. A perfect illustration of the better being the enemy of the good. 

Sure, I should have dug dandelion roots for tincture a week ago when the Moon was new. Too bad. I was potting up perennials for market and working in the greenhouse. I got some yesterday, along with yellow dock for iron, and will get more soon before they flower.

Last year for the first time there were moments when I experienced the garden and market plants as work, instead of joy. This year I was actually dreading the new season just a bit, instead of being exhilarated by the first sight of anything green. That is just plain wrong.

Partly it has been the anaemia talking. It turns out I am not old and lazy after all but honestly tired. A haemoglobin level of 7.4 is just shy of being dragged off for a blood transfusion, and I have been feeling this way for a while. Investigation is ongoing. At least the hip is responding to stretches, so I am mainly walking instead of hobbling. 

The constant challenge is to let go of expectations of perfection and to cherish what is, weeds and unfinished projects and all. 

The other challenge is to stop beating myself over the head about not being a more systematic worker. When I try to plan activities for maximum efficiency two things happen: I get paralyzed, and the garden becomes work instead of joy. 

I have to make my peace with just wading in and get started, anywhere. I may be in the middle of digging up plants for market, and find myself weeding a patch of a distant flower bed that has no priority whatsoever. Guess what. Those buttercups will not live to spread. Done is done. 

I may be on the way to the top garden with the compost pail and the digging fork to dump the compost, and get side tracked by some lupins beside the path that are just the perfect size for digging up.
Half an hour later the lupins are potted up and I remember the compost pail halfway up the slope. Guess what. Those lupins will earn me some money and make another gardener happy. Done is done.

And so on and so on.

In short, I have to apply to myself the mantra that has become my signature:

Be Here Now. Cultivate the Garden. Just Be Kind.

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