Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ode to Shovels

I needed a snow shovel yesterday to clear away the 2 inches of wet snow on the hot tub deck. However, the snow shovels were in deep storage, hanging on nails on the wall of the garage behind the stack of 8 snow tires.

I say snow shovelS (plural), because, in the winter, we keep a snow shovel at each door--the front door, the back door, and the deck door. But, of course, they had all been put away weeks ago.

I also have three D-handled shovels that i scatter around: one lives at the vegetable garden, one at the compost pile, and one in the lower flower gardens. (My house is built into a hillside.)

I prefer the D-handled shovels because i am 5'3" and shrinking. I do have a long-handled shovel just in case someone tall (ahem!) wants to help me. But it hangs on a nail on the garage wall 364 days a year.

I also have a spade that i love--a transplanting spade with a long, narrow blade that goes deep (good for planting bulbs), but is incisive because of its narrowness.

My latest acquisition is a spear-head spade--a shovel that slices through thick bundles of roots (hosta or daylilies, for example) and is easy on the back.

We dig into the Dharma with a mind that is as calm and sharp as we can make it today through our meditation practice. Some days, perhaps many days, the mind won't be all that calm or all that sharp. Nevertheless, after our 20 minutes (or longer) meditation, we can spend 5 or 10 minutes contemplating some aspect of the Dharma. Choose any page from The Meditative Gardener. Or a paragraph from the Dharma book or other inspirational book you are currently reading. Focus your attention on that teaching and roll it around in your mind for a few minutes.

A calm mind is an incisive mind that can dig right into the roots of stress.
Use the tools you have to dig into life--as it really is.

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