Weeding a Life
When I moved to Wisconsin twenty-two years ago, my freelance writing moved with me. Everything else started fresh. Creating a new life was like planting a bare patch of dirt. Some activities and connections put down roots, while others soon died out. Happily, work transplanted well.
When I’ve lived in one place for years, the garden of my life sometimes needs weeding. It can get over-scheduled or unbalanced, with invasives spreading out of control. Periodically it’s time to pull out what no longer works, give essentials like writing and family the light and water they need, and plant a few new flowers in selected spots to keep the colors vibrant.
8/7/2017 08:05:36 am
Very nice metaphor! Hobbies can even receive a repotting, if you give them increased space and resources. Some activities are perennials, others are annuals, both beautiful when in bloom.
Matt, I like the extension to hobbies or particular activities that benefit from repotting. I also like the reminder of the annuals that are glorious for a limited term, in addition to the perennials that bring joy year after year. There are also biennials and "short-lived perennials," making for a different mix each year.
8/7/2017 09:34:03 am
I love the idea of our lives as gardens. Some flowers - both annuals and perennials: trees of various shapes, colors and sizes: some bushes; some weeds. Your post reminds I need to do some weeding, and then some fertilizing of what's in the spaces left. Just the thought of putting different aspects of my life into pieces of my garden gives me a wonderful case of introspection. What do I really want my garden to look like? A natural wild space? A formal garden with each plant purposefully placed? A forest with too many trees? One uniquely shaped tree out in the middle of a field? Or in the middle of a forest? Thank you for this lovely new way of thinking about my life and how I want to live it.
Jeanne, what glorious imagery! So many possibilities for what life's garden can look like, and the wonderful awareness of wide-ranging choices that don't have to be the same from one year to the next. As you make your decisions and choices for the present, I'll be interested to hear about them.
8/7/2017 09:38:56 am
I really did enjoy this, Sarah. Enough said from one who is not a writer.
8/7/2017 11:01:04 am
I love this thread. I have about 250 daylilies in beds mixed with native flowers that are loved by butterflies. And not enough annuals, except for the utilitarian kale and kohlrabi and herbs scattered among the flowers... What does that say about me as a gardener, or about my life in general? That I have no distinct compartments? Actually, it works for me, but it's worthy of some journaling I think...
Lisa, I have this beautiful image of your lilies in my head, based on photos and not just imagination. A garden with butterflies and no distinct compartments sounds lovely to me. Perennials are constant surprise, constantly changing - in one friend's words, "like Christmas every day." I love them.
Leave a Reply.
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.