It has been months since I’ve written anything in this space, mostly because life just got so busy I had to let some things go. The last nine months were life-altering months. I taught my first academic course at the college where I have been teaching voice lessons, I had the fullest private voice studio I have ever had, and my art career really entered a new phase with my first three solo shows in the space of a few months. To accomplish everything, I really felt myself functioning in survival mode a lot of the time.
Now that the academic year is over, I am trying to recalibrate my routine and embrace the spaces where I used to take intentional rest. One of those spaces is gardening. The last two years, my garden has suffered immensely because I spent every day in my studio 30 minutes from my home. I was often too exhausted to weed and water or even cast a second glance into my backyard when I got home.
When I worked in my city studio, I used to go to Pinterest or social media when I needed a quick mental break from painting. In my home studio, I can walk into my backyard and putter around in my garden for a few minutes when I need a visual or mental break. I can sit and listen to birdsong or deadhead flowers or rub my fingers into the herbs and smell their sweet aromas. It is a place of silent contemplation, a place where I go to speak with God. And after just a few minutes, my creative brain is refreshed and replenished along with my soul.
For that reason, gardening has made it onto the list of things I need to do for self-care, along with writing, solo artist excursions aimed at replenishing my inspiration, and exercising. I want to write about it in this space mainly to remind myself that there are many nutrients for the soul besides the things I need to survive. I need love from family and friends, God, regular time in scripture and prayer, food, water, sleep, and work to survive.
But God made me to do more than just survive. And the beauty of the natural world that he made is really a wonder to behold, each little green leaf unfurling in glory to point toward the creator.