I’ve spent the morning writing at my French desk in the sunroom. Mostly answers to notes on Christmas cards, and catching up in my journal. I rise and stretch in the late morning light falling through the French doors to the garden and realize my two cups of coffee didn’t wake me the way I thought they would. Time to take a walk in my garden and get a little fresh air.
Opening the French doors I wander out into the rose garden. It’s well-tended (though not by me). I walked along the cobblestone path stopping now and then to smell the many varieties of roses gathered in the full-morning sun, the combine chorus of their scents perfuming the air around me. I would bide awhile on the white wrought iron bench where my book still lies from yesterday evening, but I know the sun falling around me like a veil would have me even more drowsy than I already am.
So I open the old iron gate, it’s hinges adding their ancient voices to nature’s recital, and follow the dirt path down through the woods. This path is one of my favorite places to be. The sun cascades gently through the balsam firs, oaks, and red maples draping the forest floor in lacy, sunlit patterns broken occasionally by pine needles and acorns.
It’s cool in the half shade, and the smells bring back so many wonderful childhood memories of campfires and smores. The ground is covered with white, tart thimbleberry plants and queen’s cups, blue harebell, and pink mountain heather, a robe fit for a queen. Meandering through the sheltering branches overhead leaves me feeling safe and protected — and a bit on the chilly side!
Before long, however, I emerge from the forest verge and into the brushwood covered beginnings of a beach. Before me stretches the bluest of oceans looking like a jeweler’s cloth scattered with myriads of diamonds shining in the sun. The movement of the small rolling waves pulls me to the beach where I sit in the warm sand and listen to the soft purr of the water as it climbs the smooth beach toward me, teasing, but never kissing.
Taking a handful of sand I let it slip through my fingers and wonder at how like life it is. I get so caught up in the falling of the grains of sand that I miss the moments in between. How many of those moments have been carried back out to sea because I never noticed them there in the empty spaces?
I pull my knees up and wrap my arms around them, resting my chin on their bony joints. The now noonday sun drapes itself over my being like a down quilt on a cold spring morning, and my eyes begin to droop as the sound of the sea sings to me lullabies of missed opportunities long past and possibilities of what yet may be. And I drift off to sleep on my island, where no voices intrude on my aimless pondering…
Some time later I wake, curled up on the sofa in the sunroom, and it’s with great regret that I leave that inner garden that is all my own. But I know I’ll return again when I need to.
Set aside some quiet space and time. Imagine your life and current experience of living represented as an inner garden. Close your eyes if it helps, or find your own way to quietly, gently, imagine taking a walk around that garden. What can you see, hear, smell, touch, taste? What’s growing, or not…? etc etc. I don’t want to give you too many leads, for there’s no right or wrong way…just follow where this idea takes you.