Saturday, July 18, 2009

Forty-two Ways- Forty Two Days- finding peace in ordinary things

**I have been at my parent's home since Thursday afternoon, which is why I missed yesterday's blog. There are several computers in the house, but I have spent my time talking and laughing with my sister who is in town and will repeat the pattern next Thursday and Friday with the other sister.Which means that unless I pre-write during the coming week- I may miss a day or two.**

It is amazing to me what things can trigger peace. When I lived in MA and we would drive back here to visit my grandmother the closer we got the more the tension would fall away. As the number of cornfields increased, the number of my muscles that would relax accordingly. I don't know what it is about cornfields that does it for me. Over the years I have theorized that it could be the perfectly straight rows that went on seemingly forever, it could be that watching the changes in them signifies a steadiness to me, and it could just mean that it meant we were just that much farther away from the city and our day to day lives. Even having lived out here for over two years now- there is something about watching that corn pop up that does it for me.

At my own home, I delight in sitting outside behind my house on the patio in the morning and just listening to the world come alive while I sip my coffee and start my day. One of the only things I miss about our townhouse in Madison is the beautiful deck that looked out on the perimieter of Clifty State Forest and provided us with deer, rabbits, racoons and squirrels who would venture into our yard as the day dawn or dimmed. I was able to watch them frolic and play or even stop for a moment and relax themselves before going on about their business as long as I was still.

Another thing that I love is my mother's back yard. She and dad have spent countless hours out there setting up bird feeders and batsh, planting flowers and shrubs, produce and herbs that from the beginning of spring until the end of fall each time you step out into the yard there is something beautiful too see and smell and it aways- even day to day- looks different. I love to step outside the sun porch and just inhale the scents before I go and sit in a chair or on a bench and listen to the birds chirping. There is such a feeling of calm and relaxation that comes over me out there that I have found myself thinking "this is what I want my life to be."

Now- my parents yard is not one of those "picture perfect, row by row, precisely measured planting show place gardens. In fact, Harley's favorite spot is the lily bed which is a veritable jungle for a dog with four inch legs. Rather, my parents gardens are planted with love. Love of the different flowers, love of the heady scents, love of the cycle which keeps something blooming most of the year and a shared love of doing the planting and enjoying the fruits of their labor. When you spend any time there, you can feel the love with which it was planted and that lends to the peace that steals over you.

Their trees- two very, very large tulip trees- have become a haven for the birds and the squirrels- until Miss Harley comes along to shoo those squirrels out of the yard. What is very "Mom and Dad" about these trees are the very cute "tree faces" that adorn those trees. It just adds to the personality of the yard and the whimsy of the gardens.

There is just something about being out there, surrounded by nature- be it my beloved corn fields or in my parents yard or my own patio that just takes me to a very special place. I am grateful for all that Mother Nature gives us that allows me to find that place in my soul.

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