3.08.2012

Keeping a Garden Journal

When I step into my garden, I seem to lose all track of time. It swallows me up completely, fully engaging my primal senses and allowing me to escape the chatter in my head. I feel the warmth of the early morning sun on my back... my hands brush across some chives or lavender and a surge of scent engulfs me... birdsong fills the air... I pop a cherry tomato in my mouth and delight in the explosion of flavor. I am entranced by the charm of my little piece of fruit-bearing land. 
Back inside, I've tried to keep track of what happens out there... what I planted and how much, what I harvested and when. All the details that I hope will make my life easier next season. However, my notes were scratched hastily here and there with no real order. Until one afternoon, when sitting outside with my gals, I started to sketch the garden... 
... and an idea was born. I cut out my drawings and began pasting them into a journal I had been gifted and was saving for, well, I guess this exact purpose. I rummaged through my notes and began to make sense of them, adding them to the pages.As I filled in the details of the plantings, the creativity of journaling caught hold and personal notes began to appear, including how I enjoyed my harvests, what I would do differently and what inspired me. As my hands moved across the pages, I felt myself fall under the same spell as when my hands dig in the dirt. The bliss of moving meditation, of timelessness... of pure joy in the moment.
I still have a ways to go to finish journaling about my fall-winter garden... even though spring plantings are already thriving in indoor trays and going into the ground outside, ready to be chronicled too.
I accept that as a mother of two young children, the time and attention I can dedicate to my creative pursuits is similar to that my garden receives. Periods of deep, loving care are balanced with unforseen bouts of neglect. So I seek my rewards in the journey, treasuring sweet moments of true peace amongst the chaos of family life. Remembering that, like gardening, journaling is patient work and it will, in time, blossom and mature into something beautiful, whole and true.

7 comments:

Bonnie said...

Love your journal! Life is all about balance. I live in the midwest, with a home in Naples. I have snakes both places. Most of my gardening is in Ohio. Snakes have taken away my joy in the garden! Do you have snake problems?

Rose said...

Such a lovely journal! Inspired to make my own gardening journal--even if only for my beautiful parsley and my one bell pepper!! :)

Catherine B said...

so pretty and so inspiring!

Mama Bird said...

Thank you, all!

Bonnie, I haven't had a problem with snakes. I have one black snake that has lived in my yard for years... it never bothers me though. Just likes to bask in the sun and eat the undesireables!

Freedom Five said...

I really need to keep a journal, this year. I started gardening last year but didn't write anything down. Thanks for reminding me :-)

Heather said...

This is so beautiful Liz. What a great way to document what you have done in your garden, and your dreams for the future.

Laura Odom said...

This is a beautiful journal! Great work!