I am actually right in the middle of working in the garden and needed a break. I've been really emotional the past few days due to circumstances beyond my control in the lives of people I love. Every experience has been heightened, both joy and sorrow. I can't even blame PMS but I have been bursting into tears at the least little thing. Fortunately, in the midst of pain and worry, I've had some very sweet and meaningful moments with friends and family that have sustained me.
Working in the garden has become like running for me. It takes me out of my life and into a completely different zone. The tasks of gardening cannot be rushed, there are no real shortcuts, and the only means to the desired end is consistent effort. Somehow, reconnecting with that very concrete reality helps me transfer some patience into my very immediate-response-oriented way of living. Just like getting seedlings to grow, there's nothing to do but watch and wait and do what I can.
Progress in the garden can be maddeningly slow from a daily perspective, but this year, as I have perhaps my best garden ever, after 14 years of fits and starts and babies and weeds and uglies and seasons of life when I had no time to spend, the satisfaction I feel is full and complete, not diluted by the pain of years. So, when this season of suffering is over for my loved ones, maybe we'll all look back and hardly even remember the bad times. I hope so.