We have had a good deal of rain recently― unusual for this early in spring in Florida. This is an area that has been beset by drought too often over the past several decades, with a water table that has been greatly overburdened by an ever increasing population. The rain is a great blessing. We who live here can breathe a little sigh of relief that the brush fire danger has dropped dramatically. And we are now surrounded by green not dependant on sprinklers and other forms of artificial irrigation. Here at the House, the pastures are lovely with tall, lush grasses and sprinkled with wildflowers. The level of the pond, alarmingly low after a long, dry winter, has risen a couple of feet in as many weeks. Our fish are very much happier.
|The pond with it's little island. Maybe someday we'll build a bridge.|
There is so much that needs done. At other times in my life I would be wringing my hands and essentially missing the beauty around me worrying about what I had not done rather than enjoying what I have. There is something about this Place though. This House and its environs evokes a sense of peace in me that I have felt only in one or two places in my life.
|The garden in progress.|
In my own experience, there have been instances where physical location colored perception to a huge degree. I have been in places where Time seemed to drag, to pass so slowly as to seem interminable, and others where it literally flew by. There have been locales that evoked in me sadness, anger or even euphoria. When you have an emotional response that has seemingly nothing to do with outward experience, it seems only practical to look at other factors. Mood and emotion, of course, can be influenced by myriad causes, but place is certainly one of them.
Years ago, when my Father was still living in this House, and I was working part time out here for him as caretaker of the yard and pastures, I observed that I experienced a deep sense of peace here. Though there was always a great deal of work to be done and often the heat was oppressive, the insects voracious and the weather downright capricious, the eight to twelve hours a week I spent working here were the most serene of my busy week. Time here was my only respite from an often overwhelmingly difficult life. Looking back, I could see that I had always felt a certain affinity to this Place, but I had never before looked at it from that perspective. That feeling is still here for me, and seems to effect a great number of other folks in nearly the same fashion. It is not that any problems go away here, or that life is easier or better. I can and have been pretty much as miserable an excuse for humanity here as I have been in other places. Particularly because I— not just I, I think, but much of my family— have been being challenged or tested by Spirit (God, First Cause, Supreme Being or Powers-that-Be. Spirit is usually my own preferred term.) at least since we made the move to Florida and maybe before. Still, there is what I can only describe as a deep and abiding Peacefulness or Tranquility that emanates from the Earth in a comparably small area here, and it is a wonderful thing.
So, I survey my little garden, and instead of kicking myself for not getting more done, I can smile and appreciate the beauty of the growing things around me, of the weathered barn and garden house, of the warped dock on the pond and the yet unfenced barrens that will become the permanent vegetable garden. We've come a long way. The weeds in the garden area were taller than my son and I when we went out and started clearing them during the winter. Broken pipes and faucets have been repaired and replaced. The raised bed I cleaned out to be an herb garden is providing temporary home to tomatoes and peppers. Baby turkeys are hatching out and following their mothers through the pasture. It is good.
I have not had any realizations or epiphanies this past week or two. I have yet to actually pull out my yoga mat or make significant progress toward a healthier lifestyle, but it is still on my mind. I have got enough use of both hands again that I can (yay) type without difficulty, drive in my local area, and I have been able to use my camera without difficulty again, so I've been taking pictures. I am not anywhere near where I want to be personally or spiritually, but I'm not beating myself up about it or blaming either myself or anyone else. I am where I am right now, and the one sure thing I can count on in life is change. My Garden is growing alright just now. I hope yours is too.