Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Summer Sag

I call this season the summer sag. I look out my windows, and all i see in my flowerbeds is green. Where are the flowers? They must be blooming in someone else's full sun garden because they are not blossoming here in partial shade.

I confess: i still haven't mastered the art of rolling bloom--a little garden that is constantly full of flowers. Apparently i'm in good company. When the Garden Club toured my garden last week, i sighed about this, and the president said, "Who has mastered it?"

Those photos in gardening magazines and books are so beautiful. And the British make it sound so simple. "Just cut back the pulmonaria (or the doronicum or the....), and they will bloom again. They will bloom again in July if your summer high temperature is 70 degrees, but our weather on this side of the pond has been cooking for the past several weeks.

This is the delusion, whose spell we fall under: we can have a flower-filled garden like the ones in the photos. But the reality is that some season comes, the color sags, and all we see is green.

We live our lives in these sorts of hopeful delusions for the future that don't quite work out as we had planned. We are disappointed or disgusted. Perhaps we complain. This is just one example of suffering (also called stress). We want more of the pleasant (flowers) and less of the unpleasant (plain green). We stay in constant motion, tweaking our environment--inner or outer--and in order to do this tweaking we need an ego; we assume a self.

We can reduce our stress. In fact we can even become free of stress.

The first step is mindfulness. Let's begin there today by simply walking through our garden and noticing the pleasant. And noticing the unpleasant.

Let me know what you find out.

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