When things are difficult for me personally, when I am experiencing personal turmoil or crisis, my first instinct is to get my hands in the dirt or to do something with my plants.
I left work a little early this evening, intending to come home and collapse into my bed for a little nap, a retreat from a difficult day. Funny enough, though, after peeking in on Sweet Husband who was building a shelf to go under the window where our Blackberry likes to lounge…and which she frequently falls out of…I checked the mail and looked down to see my scraggly mums.
In my dress slacks and my black wedges, I grabbed my garden shears and began clipping the dead blooms off of last year’s clearance mums, which lead to pulling weeds and the occasional volunteer oak tree. And then there were dead rose blooms that needed to be removed and more weeds tossed into the street. Once the dead and dying blooms littered the mulch, there were vining roses to be wrapped around the split rail fence.
A quick survey of yesterday’s finished flower bed revealed that it needed water, so still in my work clothes I tromped across the yard, turned on the meter and drug the hose first to the raised beds where I have baby cucumbers starting and okra growing. After that it was on to the delicate plants from yesterday’s planting and then back across the yard to turn off the meter and wait for the hose to go limp.
My head doesn’t hurt any more. Sitting here in my pajamas, the ick of the day has melted away.
I can’t solve the problems of the world. I can’t make society value the lives of young black men. I can’t change a prejudicial justice system. I can’t fix people who who are too preoccupied with their personal lives to do their own jobs. I can’t can’t fix other people’s issues. Most days I can’t even handle my own problems. But I can feel better at the end of the day. I can make the world a better place one plant at a time. And that’s what I do. It’s not much. It may be naive. It is, though, what it is.
How do you handle your “ick”? What makes you feel better about your world?