Friday, August 6, 2010

Turning a corner



Something interesting happened yesterday. I didn't even notice at the time. I was busy transplanting pots of double-decker echinacea I grew from seed this year into one of the beds beside the verandah, and when I'd finished with the job, I grabbed a clay pot of little pink annuals and plunked it in the middle of the birdbath, just because it looked nice.


As the afternoon wore on, I found myself coming back to the birdbath. It made me feel happy to look at. It was pretty. I spent all afternoon returning for another look, trying to figure out why it made me so happy. And then I understood: it was the first thing I've done here at Mucky Boots just because it's beautiful.

You can probably guess how hard I've worked since we moved here a year and a half ago. A lot of it, inside the house and outside in the garden, has resulted in things looking better than they did. But all of it has felt like work that needed to be done, to fix things that were broken, or water plants that were dry, or weed beds that were overgrown. It's all been interesting and satisfying, but all of it has been for a purpose. None of it has been just for beauty, just because. There hasn't been the time, or energy, to do things just because.

There's so much that's beautiful here: the bee balm waving above the vegetable garden. The gladiolas that have just begun to flower. The perfect canopy of the Japanese maple by the pond. I am not responsible for putting any of it there - all I've been doing is maintaining it as best as I can. But yesterday, feeling pretty much on top of the garden for the first time since we got here, there was enough space to do something non-essential, just because it was pretty.

It's like the song Bread and Roses. Small art and love and beauty. My heart needs beauty-just-because.

8 comments:

Flartus said...

Congratulations. It's an important milestone. And it does look beautiful!

Miss Chef is much better at doing things for fun--or beauty--than I am. I've inherited my maternal side's chore-driven mentality.

Still, whatever makes you happy, right? I fully acknowledge that I actually enjoy the accomplishment of garden chores. I've been known to linger over the beauty of the garden the few times I've manged to get it completely weed-free.

jeanives said...

Which reminds me that I haven't thanked you and your delivery woman for the gift of echinacea, which appear to be happy in their new home. I was in the midst of a Spanish class so didn't get to chat with Kim...
And, how are you faring with what passes for air these last few days? What must it be like in the interior if we are getting this much particulate from the fires?

Natalie said...

Now I feel blessed, because even though our new home and lives are full of jobs that must done, maintenance etc... I simply cannot resist doing things *just because*... for beauty and laughs, or both. And the blessing is that I can, and do. I am so glad you found a moment to make something beautiful for its own sake... may you have a million more opportunities!

Paula said...

It is really pretty, and you captured it in perfect light. Don't you love that?

Congratulations on your milestone! I haven't been able to do a just because yet and probably won't for awhile. I did start a flower border, but it has a purpose- it's supposed to provide forage for next year's bees. It will be pretty, and have some of my favorite flowers that I haven't been able to plant until I moved to the PNW like peonies (my absolute fave) and lilac, and some perennials, but it wasn't planted for just for pretty. I can't wait to get to that.

amothersheartinwords said...

Thank you for sharing that! The pictures are lovely and I'd love to know what they are.

As my to-do list grows longer and faster than I can keep up sometimes I have to remind myself that "THESE ARE THE GOOD OLD DAYS."

Right NOW. Is all we have.

farmhousewife

Paula said...

Hey that salve you sent me is the balm! (I know, but I couldn't resist it!)

Last night I spread it on a pretty good scratch I got from the pumpkins and today it was practically gone!

Toni aka irishlas said...

I'm learning that sometimes it's more important to do things to please yourself and make yourself happy before you do what needs to be done. I'm not perfect at it, but, I find my OCD inclined brain starting to understand this.

It's like a breath of fresh air, isn't it?

Toni aka irishlas said...

I'm learning that sometimes it's more important to do things to please yourself and make yourself happy before you do what needs to be done. I'm not perfect at it, but, I find my OCD inclined brain starting to understand this.

It's like a breath of fresh air, isn't it?

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