We have a ground squirrel that pops his head from time to time from the interior of one of my garden beds. I call him Harry. On occasion, he sits on the ledge of the bed surveying his surroundings until something stirs and scares him and he goes down under in speedy haste to his private cave.
I feel like Harry these days. It has been well over a month since I have written from Merlin’s Garden as I holed myself in my private little room recovering from surgery. Like Harry, sometimes I came out of hiding and sat in the garden looking around me until my body stirred calling me back to bed. Sometimes I watched Oprah. Sometimes I skimmed garden books and magazines considering my next endeavor in the dirt. I felt tired, naturally, and equally uninspired. I am a terrible patient. I do not do well sitting still.
I had a lot of time to think during this period, pondering life’s unanswerable questions. On one hand I felt fortunate that I came out of my surgery fairly unscathed, and glad I did it. On the other hand, I wondered what to take on next now that this one worry was behind me.
What’s next is not that easy to answer. I have not been good about appreciating what I have, including my health. As I walked the halls of the hospital in those early days following my surgery, I saw less fortunate souls who faced far more serious ailments that sapped their strength and spirits. My own vulnerability coupled with what I witnessed made me realize the preciousness of our time on earth and how little care we give it until faced with a formidable challenge.
So my point? I don’t have a specific one. I just don’t want to fall into my old ways of racing through life without thought.
I come up from my hole more often these days as I get better and see a world around me that is both simple and mysterious. My renewed energy takes me into the garden. Merlin and the other dogs follow me everywhere. I think they are glad to see me up and about instead of curled up on the couch. Despite the barren winter landscape (by California standards, that is) consisting of dormant plants and trees and newly pruned rose bushes, I sense life preparing to unfurl. Kind of like how I feel. I suppose if I am patient and tend carefully to the work that needs doing I will be rewarded with new life and new beauty. No need to wait, I think. The act of tending is as much its own kind of beauty as the bloom that comes later.
I guess it’s time to get moving. Merlin would agree. If his bark could translate to plain English, it would say: About time, I say. About time.