It has been awhile since I have thought philosophically about why I do anything. Since retirement I have been trying on new things and they seem to have fit me just fine. After watching my son in tae kwan do for a year I decided tonight was the night and I attended my first class. I did not break or strain anything and I am now a white belt (my son is a blue belt). I figure I will be able to defend myself when he becomes thirteen or so as he will probably be a three stripe black belt by then.
Challenges have always been stressful to me but also very important. I may seem irritated at times and not seem to enjoy some tasks, but if a day goes by without accomplishment it gets me down. It’s hard to find meaningful goals in life that I can stick to. I think the tae kwan do phase will fill a void for a long term black belt goal. In the short term I have chosen gardening to fulfill my short term goals.
I can argue in the affirmative about the health value of consuming home grown food. I can feel safer about making my own compost and not making the news with some food borne illness. I can feel better eating healthier eggs with less cholesterol from my backyard chickens. I can feel good about not helping fill up the landfill with my green waste. I can check the bank statement and feel better about not having to take the full brunt of a 4% increase in food costs this year due to the drought. The exercise gardening provides is beneficial and I can value that. Although these pro gardening arguments are great they don’t sum up why I garden.
I garden because it takes my mind to positive places and things. I can sit back after a long day of gardening work and look forward to different demands for tomorrow. The jobs are never done. The short term goals keep coming and changing minute by minute. I will have a plan for the day and then looking back at the end of the day I accomplished some of the things on my list but I also accomplished much more that I had not planned on.
Gardening helps me look forward to getting up in the morning. As a type A personality type I have always worked hard at completing projects. Gardening forces me to understand that I am never done when it comes to gardening. It puts life in perspective with small victories and accomplishments. I know that through gardening I will never have to worry about living a life bored, lost or negative. I know that no matter how dirty I get in the garden, I never feel dirty. Maybe gardening connects me to my ancestral roots. Maybe gardening is in my blood……or maybe gardening just found me. Looking at this post I have not mentioned one negative thing about gardening……because I have not found one yet.