Monday, May 18, 2009


I spent all of yesterday outside in my garden - this is my idea of heaven on earth. Weeding, planting, digging, moving, organising, envisioning the beauty to come - I can spend all my waking hours in the garden, and when it finally becomes too dark to work outdoors, I come inside, kick off my shoes and feel: contentment.

Before Al-Anon, I don't think I'd ever experienced this manner of pervasive contentment. I had moments of happiness, of course, but I had no idea of how to give myself anything in the realm of sustained happiness.

Interestingly enough, I have my ex to thank, for my love of gardening. We had moved into a house with an enormous back yard, and he at once began to agitate for me to build a vegetable garden. What began as drudgery undertaken to quiet his nagging, very quickly turned into a passion. I loved it. I'd arrive home from a stressful day at work, quickly change into ratty old gardening clothes, and go out to play. I've never looked back. I've turned into one of those gardening fiends who has to receive discreet nudges from her spouse, in order to get shifted off the subject, when my listener's eyes begin to glaze over.

"How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence." ~Benjamin Disraeli

I talk to my Higher Power when I'm in my garden; I feel close to Him there, whether I'm planting seeds, or engaged in a struggle to contain one of his creations. (Buttercups spring to mind, but even those rapacious weeds have silky, golden blooms to adorn them, and one can admire their persistence, if nothing else about them.)

Because of Al-Anon, when I'm in my garden, I am living in the present moment. I'm not worrying about the future, or reliving the past. I may be projecting flowers where right now is only foliage, but it's a kind of projection that creates happy expectations, instead of the other kind. I'm at peace. I'm imbued with contentment. I'm grateful.

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