Saturday, September 11, 2010

Season's End

A tremendously important activity that I embark on often within my personal leisure time is tending my garden. Simultaneously I give my garden full credit for also tending me. It's a  reciprocal relationship and I love and honour it. Brian and I put an incredible amount of energy into the landscaping in our backyard and I feel that what we get out of it is above and beyond that. It's in it's 4th year now and there's actually not a lot of maintance needed anymore beyond deadheading, pruning and weeding. But oh, the weeding! Damn you, Creeping Charlie!

I work, I play and I rest in the garden. It is a space where I can sweat it out and release pent up stress or frustrations. I can yank (thank-you, Creeping Charlie!), pull, hack, dig, claw, and cut and the garden understands that it comes from a place of need, self-care and self-maintenance. It gladly recieves my abuse and turns into an act of love. The garden is a place that awaits my exploration.  Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries love to play hide and go seek and the rewards are always worth looking in those hard to reach spots.  I create pretty bouquets, chase the dog, play games with friends and family, and lie on the cool, green grass to seek cloud shapes in the sky. My garden is also a space of beauty, where I can feel relaxed and at ease. I kick back at the patio set and simply soak in the sights. The colours and textures of the garden ebb and change with mystifying ease. I watch the evolution of the fruits of our assorted trees, vines and bushes from flower to harvest; the bees collecting nectar; the birds eating at the feeder and splashing in the bird bath; the squirrels planning their feeder raids and running the fence lines to escape the watchful eyes of our dog. I love our garden.

My garden is also highly symbolic/metaphoric. When I go into the garden witht the intent to pull weeds, for example, often times I need to clear out 'stuff' in my own life. When I stand back afterwards, to look over the now immaculate space I've helped to create, I can't help but feel lighter, like I've opened space for something much more beautiful to grow and thrive. When I cut back and prune, you can bet that something else is going to recieve a little more sunshine, and so be given the opportunity to stand a little taller. It's the same with the soul; sometimes you've got to whack back that which has outgrown it's rightful space and is choking out other beautiful aspects of self. I contemplate the shadows and the light and seek to grow the plants that will best thrive in that space. You get the picture. My garden is therapeutic. Did I mention I love my garden?

Petunia ~ coil and pinch pot.
by  Kimberly
As Autumn creeps in there is still much activity in the garden, but soon it will be time for it to sleep. And I will be throwing myself into my studies for the duration of the winter, managing my stress as best I can using other coping methods. I will miss my garden during that time. It seems as though my most therapeutic pasttime must regress just when I need it most, but then there is planning for the spring to consider...designing that arbor I want at the front walk...seeding summer annuals for the back corner that needs more colour...creating another piece of garden art...

'Til next time. K

Friday, September 3, 2010

Moving On...

I've been negligent. Alas, I only get a 4 week summer between semesters (last assignment was due first week of August) and I've been trying to use that time to catch up on my personal culture and recreation...relaxing a lot, working some, visiting family and friends...this posting is a long time coming.

REC 304 was extraordinary. It took me out of my comfort zone and into a realm of creativity that I've never been encouraged to venture into throughout my entire 4 years in university. It's a tricky process, putting my opinions out there for the world to see and trying to write from a place of authenticity.

So I find myself asking, where do I go from here with this blog? Lucky for me the terms 'culture' and 'recreation' are so vast! Culture is everywhere and any and all of the things that I do outside of obligated tasks is considered my recreation and leisure, so there's plenty of fuel for my creative fires to consume...I guess it's just a matter of will now. I'm just going to have to be creative and committed.

I'm very thankful for the initiative to start this blog. It's helped me to wrap my head around what I truly feel about issues that clearly affect my life on an everyday basis. I think I've always been an out-of-the-box sort of thinker, but REC 304 encouraged critical thinking on a whole new level for me. All around us, every day, we make choices based on what? What influences you? Is it the media, advertising and television? Is it family, friends, the environment? For me, my choices are based on trust. I trust in the Universe and Great Spirit/Goddess so greatly that, when I'm intuitively directed to make a decision, I go with it. I'm a go-with-your-gut kind of woman. I have the tools to cope with whatever challenges will come my way at the moment they present themselves based on those choices. I have been given no greater gift than that trust.

I've been thinking a lot about how this blog has impacted my personal life. I've been fairly transparent, exploring my relationships with others and the environment, my sexuality, my beliefs and I've challenged norms that are out of date and holding me, personally, from nurturing my full potential. And this has been huge. It's affected my marriage, the way I interpret the world and how I regard myself as a woman, healer, and student. It's been an enlightening experience that's contributing to change in my life. I feel that all change is good as it forces us to grow and I strongly believe in approaching all change with excitement, even when I'm scared or hurting.

Writing about nature and praising it's healing, affirming qualities has made me realize that I want to go deeper, become more intimate with Mother Earth through ceremony and working with plants and animals. Over the remainder of my summer I moved out of the cognitive realm and into the physical and spiritual realm. I went to stay at the family farm and milked some cows, convened with nature and submersed myself into a completely different routine for a few weeks. The sweet smell of home beckoned, and I happily heeded the call. I don't get to see my family near enough and it was time to reconnect. I am thankful for the time to be able to do so.

As I embark on the next stage of my journey as a Master's student in Recreation and Leisure Studies I look forward to looking back at what has come before and monitoring my own evolution. This blog will continue, though I'm sure that the tone will change. Throughout this process, thus far, I have felt expansion within. My posts have steadily gotten more and more personal, and I'm eager to share the intuitive wisdom I hold...that we all possess. The power of one person is unlimited...each of us has immense power. I strive to wield mine with love and integrity.

Talk soon. K