Today I worked out in my flower bed.
My plan was on the nice warmer winter days, I would go out and work on it but with my schedule those days didn’t exist (for me) during the winter months.
This morning when I came home from work I was down. I was tired. I looked at the rock flower bed my grandfather had built over fifty years ago. It was in sad shape. Not the bed itself. It is as sturdy as it has ever been. It was suffering from neglect. Having set there from the autumn season.
I went inside to sleep which happened quickly. I don’t even remember getting into bed. I slept for a few hours and when I woke up I was wide awake and my mind was whirling.
I decided to go out and see if it was warm enough to begin working through the vines and thorns to reclaim the flower bed and allow the daffodils and tulips that reside there to flourish.
I assessed the situation. I walked around the oblong rock flower bed, I chose my point of attack. I walked back to my carport and gathered the spade, shovel, rake, broom and clippers.
I was ready to do battle. There was walking, tugging, straining, climbing up into the flower bed, bending over to clear out debris, working with the shovel using muscles I don’t use everyday in that manner. This was the physical exercise.
When stepping in between the fragile new growth, I had to be careful not to damage what I was trying to salvage.
When I used the spade and could not get the roots of the intruding vines and thorns, I had to use the shovel having to use care once again to not to damage the desired plants while evicting the intruders. This was the mental exercise.
Once the roots were removed to prevent the squatters from returning, I would shake the dirt from the roots and for the first time in my life, I realized how I enjoyed the smell of the fresh dirt. There was something alluring about the smell.
It’s not like I haven’t played in the dirt before. I have many times in that same flower bed. It is just this time I feel like I was more present.
It was so strong that when I saw my person later in the day, I made mention of it; how amazing the smell was to me.
As I worked with my hands, I thought what those weeds and thorns represented in my own life and how removing said interlopers makes room for the good to grow.
I thought about my grandmother. How she would walk up to the flower bed and work as much as she could, which was not long because she had spurs on her spine. I can work for hours and she could only work for minutes but there is a shared love of the flowers that grow there.
I looked at the metal pipe in the middle of the flower bed. My sister, cousins and I used to pretend it was a periscope. I smiled at the memories flooding my soul. This was the soul exercise.
A need to clean out a flowerbed became a body, mind, spirit connection and what started out as a chore turned into a blessing.