Dita Parker

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Secret garden

Who knew there was a story central hiding in my garden? Who could have imagined a city girl would enjoy roughing it in the bush and digging in the dirt this much? Hubby is Nature Boy, I'm only learning, and gawking openly at said shirtless guy's abs and chest and biceps gleaming and straining while he swings that shovel and it's getting hot in here and I digress but you would too just looking at him working or working out or just standing there. (I swear love is one major distraction no matter who you are or what you're trying to do.)

There we were, discussing perennials, or Hubby talked while I tried to deduce from Latin and the context before he caught on to my confusion what sort of plants might those be. And something came to me then and there, a storyline that had absolutely nothing to do with plants or gardening, and I was forced to excuse myself and leave poor hunk hanging in mid sentence while I rushed off for my notebook. He knows by now I'll drop anything except someone's baby when my hands shoot up as if I was about to catch a ball, my eyes focus on some distant spot and my mouth opens the tiniest bit as though I was going to say something. It's funny as hell, his impersonation.

It happened several times during the weekend and I don't know whether it had something to do with concentrating on some rather mundane tasks, from where the wind blew, me or him, but I got so much done in the garden and orchard as well as by way of filling that notebook with ideas, dialogue, questions, and even some answers.

I've noticed that doing things as a meditation is conductive for creativity. At least it works for me. One of my favorite torture racks and methods of getting my mind flowing: indoor rowers. Yes, I know there are gurus out there to teach you to do the same without moving a muscle but I'm a run for the bus kind of girl; I absolutely need to use mine or I will get cranky and restless.

I know what the guru would tell me is of the essence. It's all I focus on when I row row row my boat not so gently down the stream. Having nothing to concentrate on but your next breath, being able to concentrate on nothing but breathing can be oddly liberating. (And, shameless product placement: forget about the latest fitness fad, you'll outlive it anyway, try any Concept2 rower, it will outlast you, and get the best no frills strength-endurance work out ever no matter what your current weight or starting level. No, they didn't pay me to say so. Would they? If I asked nicely? No? Dita who? Damn. I still love those machines.)

I've found new motivation to learn the ins and outs of gardening. The fact that my kids get to eat berries, fruit and vegetables they've planted and tended to themselves is no small bonus. And we supposedly live in a city, the second largest in the nation. I don't think of this as a city, not compared to most cities I've lived in and considering we actually grow food on our lot. I've never had a garden like the one we have now. I love it. For the foodstuff, for the inspiration, and especially for its patient, loving and understanding head gardener.

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