There was a moment this past Saturday when I was just standing still in the garden, between two bee-filled stands of poppies, the flowers at about my eye-level, just taking it in. It’s May so the poppies in the garden are at their peak, and the bees and I are losing our damn minds. It felt like diving, in that I was just there, floating, quiet, taking it all in with my eyes. It felt like a dream, too, too beautiful to be real, overwhelmingly gorgeous and calm and amazing. Right in front of my eyes, bees rolling in pollen, brushing it onto their pollen baskets, 7 in one flower at one point, eagerly gathering, lost in their gathering. All around me the buzz of their wings.

I thought, wow, I should sell tickets to this or at least invite people over to stand in exactly this spot, to feel this delight. It’s like a nature show, except it’s real life, not happening through a screen.

I thought, wow, I should sell tickets to this or at least invite people over to stand in exactly this spot, to feel this delight. It’s like a nature show, except it’s real life, not happening through a screen.

So that’s how the weekend went: me lost in a cloud of bee-sound, infected by their happy dance.

And working.

And thinking about how a life of abundance is a lot of work.

Abundance is a practice.

I was probably outside in the garden for a total of 9 hours this weekend. I moved amaranth and sunflowers from where they’d popped up on their own, to where I really want them. I put baby basil and cilantro and zinnias and kale that I started weeks ago into the ground finally. I planted the potimarron pumpkin we bought a couple of weeks ago into its new spot. I pulled a bunch of weeds, and cleared pathways, and laid down sawdust as groundcover, to keep the weeds down – plus it makes everything look sharp and re-uses something we have in abundance, thanks to my husband’s business.  I added to and turned the compost, building it up layer by layer, high.

I processed crushed beeswax in the solar oven, using the heat of the sun to filter the wax and create a tidy clean block for candles. And somewhere in there, too, we used a borrowed hand-crank extractor to spin honey from 12 frames of honey and jarred it up.

Meanwhile I kept an eye on the apricots which are maybe a week away from perfection.

Abundance is a practice.

We will have apricots because we put that tree in the ground. We will have fresh salsa on a nightly basis in a month or so, because we planted a bed full of tomatoes and cilantro and onions and a variety of chiles. And, oh my goodness, there will be grilled eggplant, too, and stir-fried squash, and bouquets of flowers. And honey. Glorious honey.

Because we practice.

Making all of this takes a lot of time and devotion and consistent attention. It’s a constant practice, this attention, walking through the garden in the early morning hours – “going on walk-about,” as we call it – taking in what’s happening, noting what needs doing, stopping, inevitably, to pull a weed or to stare into a rose. Noticing everything.

Making all of this also takes a lot of hours in the dirt. Yesterday by the time I came inside, I was filthy, head to toe – literally toes, since I love to garden in flip-flops. it’s work, physical labor, but a labor of love. It’s knowing that there is a direct connection between the time spent and the harvest to come. Sure, there are naturally variables we can’t control for – there was that one year that the tomatoes didn’t perform, no one’s did, bad weather pattern – but mostly, generally, for years now, there’s this very real evidence that that devotion yields BOUNTY. Puts food on your plate. 

Abundance is a practice.

While I’m out there, I think about the value of this practice, this devotion to abundance, and how it translates to other aspects of my life. I think about how much more bounty I could engineer in my life, with that same application of attention. If there’s something you want in your life, something you want to eat, plant the seed. Then tend it.

But first: plant the seed.

xx

 

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