Sunday, February 18, 2018
The Joys of Gardening
If you are not a gardener, you may wonder why this hobby has become so popular even with people who have the resources to go to the grocery and get food with much less effort. Perhaps much of the joy that comes from gardening originated in the baby boomer values that came from those golden days of the 1960s. Part of the ethical and moral system of that time in our cultural history was the “back to the land” movement to get back to our roots and away from the alleged sins of modern society.
From this same movement, we got the increased interest in vegetarianism, yoga, natural eating and the environmental movement. So, while we may look back with a bit of chagrin on the idealism and sometimes radical values for the time, that baby boomer history represents, there are some very good lifestyle choices that came from that era of our shared lives. And the love of gardening is one of the good things that many of us kept from that time.
Gardening is a hobby that is unique among pastimes because virtually nothing bad can come of it. Even if you are a total failure at gardening and don’t produce a single morsel of food from your garden, just the act of working with the earth and making something grow is so therapeutic that it’s worth the effort even if you only grow weeds☹.
Some reasons gardening is a wonderful hobby is that it’s simple, inexpensive, and joyful. With gardening, you can keep it simple or you can get as sophisticated and scientific at it as you please. Gardening is like fishing in the way that even if you are terrible at it, it’s entirely worth doing just for the joy of the time you are in your garden. There really is nothing comparable in therapy for going out in the garden in the evening after a stressful day. Working with the soil and spending sometime nurturing and pouring your tender loving care into the garden can make those worries and anxieties of the office melt away. Then when you come in after an hour of gardening, those cares take on their proper perspective so you can deal with them.
Gardening in creativity for the uncreative. When you till your garden and prepare your soil, that is like a master painter preparing his paints to produce that masterpiece. But when you finally open the packages of seeds or take the small plant from its container and you place them just so in that carefully prepared soil, there is a sensation of making something happen that is new life. This feeling happens because you are creating life by the act of planting. This feeling, I believe, refreshes even the most cynical boomer and puts them in touch with themselves and with nature in a way that is hard to match in any other pastime.
Even the simple act of watering has almost a mystical power for you and the time it takes to water your garden can become the best part of your day. But when that day comes that you rush out to your garden and see those young sprouts come up that you so carefully planted and cared for, it’s a little moment of parenting that can bring real joy to your heart.
We understand that we did not create the seed and that we are no more than caregivers that helps the plant sprout and then grow into a plant. By becoming part of the cycle of nature when we care for the plants in our garden, it gives us a feeling of completion. That connection to the eternal cycle of life will lift our spirit.
So, don’t be afraid to put together a small plot of land and begin planning your little garden. Even if you are an apartment dweller, you can organize a garden with planter boxes and grow lights and get many of the same joys from your little garden that the master garden with acres of crops can get.