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I finally found some time this past weekend to play in my vegetable garden. My son requested corn and my husband requested peppers; I added in tomatoes, lettuces, chard, summer squash and a crane melon (that will most likely grow too big and take over the entire bed where I have chard growing) and some bush beans (that inevitably won’t mature because no matter what I do something always eats the flowers before they can become anything edible!). I swear I am not being negative; my comments are directed at my pollyannaish approach each Spring … no matter how much I tell myself, “This is all really going to grow this year,” ultimately the only thing that I have ever been any good at growing is tomatoes … which is a good thing since I can literally live off of them in the summer!

But, as I sat there on the edge of my beds, digging away, amending the soil, watching my hands connect with the earth, I realized that my heart was not quite into it this year. Sure, I was going through the motion: prepping, digging, amending, planting, sorting … but my mind was a thousand miles away. Between work and my personal life, my thoughts have been pulled in many directions and more often than not it’s not all that possible to pull myself back to center.

So, when I finished, I stood up, wiped off my hands, and scanned the beds. There they were, all my plants neatly in their nice little rows and their perfect little freshly watered round mounds, and I had this sense of order: tidy, reliable, predictable. I do love the simplicity of order, the safety of order. I love it most especially when I feel like I am speeding uncontrollably around a blind corner!

There is something that happens when you connect your body and mind to the earth … it’s when the quiet takes over and the calm sets in. The stress seems less, the distractions of longing or wanting something you can’t have seem less, the journey to the other side seems shorter and you breathe slower and fuller and perspective sets in and everything seems as though it’s all totally achievable.


About Dena Grunt

"We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free." - Kavita Ramdas Dena is the author or Table with a View: the History and Recipes of Nick's Cove" and founder of Destination HR Consulting. She lives in Petaluma.

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