While I was gardening

The art of gardening and the science of life.


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Perched on a gust of wind.

Perched on a gust of wind.

The past two and one-half years have brought more turmoil, betrayal, and change to my life than I have experienced since childhood.  The only part of my life not permanently touched is my health – I seem to be made of iron, with a little bit of rust.  All other facets in this adult life – relationships, work, creativity, religious/spiritual beliefs, social – have been altered in some capacity.  Beliefs I once held as resolute are filled with doubt; some relationships I once considered safe and reciprocal are now dangerous and profoundly dishonest; institutions once seen as cohesive and ethical now seem corrupt and easily bought.  The slim confidence I once placed in my ability to understand and respond appropriately is gone and replaced with an intense desire to avoid interactions as often as possible.  However, my garden has never looked better.

I think most, if not all, adults experience a crisis of whatever at some point in their life.  That’s a comforting thought that I hold onto.  When the struggle becomes intense, I go out for a hike.  If the struggle is overwhelming, I hike up every hill in a 7-mile radius and return home so exhausted I can’t speak.  That helps.   Occasionally wind kicks up and pushes against me with such force that I end up behind the place from where I began.  It’s an odd sensation.  Occasionally I can talk myself into gratitude and deep joy but words, whether spoken or held inside, are just a string of syllables that can be turned into nonsense as easily as into song.

Maybe this is a result of an extended spring.  Maybe a result of finally maturing.  Maybe it will pass now that I have faced it.

If not, it’s a long way down.