Peace in the Soil

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The weather is finally warm enough to get my hands back in the soil. It has been for a few weeks.

Oh, the peace.

My gardens are, clearly, my happy place. And I have returned.

There is something so incredible about working gloveless in the soil. I like to feel the dirt under my fingernails. I don’t even mind when I graze a worm or grub. They used to be “gross” when I was a little girl. Now, they’re a part of being outside, of gardening, of knowing the earth beneath me.

This year I have a ton of maintenance to do. Weed pulling, mulching, moving paver stones, etc. I’m trying not to buy new flowers, though it’s tempting. The nursery keeps the plants so beautiful and thriving (how do they do it?!). They look so gorgeous I often feel like I can’t help myself.

So I focus on peace.

It’s a practice.

It takes patience and concentration.

I don’t need more plants. I need to wait; for things to grow and spread and fill in the holes. This will take years, but it will save money and give the plants their freedom to blossom and bloom and spread. I must let the plants be what they are– living, growing, thriving organisms that will fill in the gaps in the garden beds when given the nutrients and time they need.

I am peaceful when I’m in my garden, doing the work. I’m peaceful when I’m dirty and grubby, my hands dark with earth. I grew up with garden-loving parents, and a vegetable-growing grandfather. So, I’ve always seen others in the soil, but I never understood the joy of helping things to grow until I bought my first house.

I dabbled in the soil there while my babies napped, a monitor close in hand, waiting for them to wake up and beckon me.

In our second home, I have the gift of sunlight on multiple flower beds. While we have deer that munch many things, my garden is full of things they won’t eat, and full of brilliant flowers I never could have planted in house #1’s shadowy, tree-filled yard.

I have come into the light.

I have come into peace.

And I couldn’t be happier.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace in Friendship

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I have to admit that for the most part, I don’t mind being alone. I find myself craving it often, given that I live in a house with four other people. There is nearly never silence. Never alone time. Sometimes it gets quiet, only to be punctuated with, “I AM THOR! I WILL ATTACK YOU NOW!”

Given that I crave more alone time, it might sound strange to admit that I also crave grownup friendship time, too. These cravings feel like such opposites. When “free-time” finally does present itself, do I choose the quiet, peaceful moment or do I phone a friend?

This week, I reached for my cell and phoned a friend.

There is so much peace in loving friendship. 20 minutes can make such a difference in the day. Hearing a friend laugh or share similar experiences makes my day. It’s so simple to pick up a phone, make a plan, share a lunch, FaceTime, or otherwise. This sounds so simple it’s almost silly. But, somehow, we forget the most simple salves life has to offer us.

So, I encourage you! I implore you! Phone a friend. Feel the peace.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace in Disagreements

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This holiday season turned out to be a lot more stressful than I remember other years having been. This year involved a lot of discussion. And such discussions led to disagreements. Getting together during the rise of omicron led those in our family to ask a lot of questions:

  • What’s safe?
  • What isn’t safe?
  • Should we still be worrying about all this?
  • Should we test people before gathering?
  • When should we test?
  • Whom should we test?
  • Where can we get tests?
  • Are rapid tests reliable for the omicron variant?
  • Has anyone been exposed?
  • What day did you get exposed?
  • Who’s vaccinated?
  • Who’s been boosted?
  • What is the best venue for our gathering?
  • What are we serving, from a food perspective? (just kidding…..I didn’t ask that, but I was certainly wondering!)

Here’s the thing: questions are great. Questions can lead to answers. Answers can bring knowledge. Sometimes answers bring comfort. But when family is involved, things can get dicey. Because we love our family members. And while we want what’s best for everyone, we can disagree about what’s best.

Because we’re different. We have different opinions. We have different beliefs. And some of us, like, ahem, little old me, don’t always have an answer.

I’m not a scientist, a medical professional, an epidemiologist, a politician, a religious leader, or much of an authority on anything except soup (Truly, people, I make a mean soup. Come over any time!)

To say I cried a little this Christmas season would be an understatement. I cried, I yelled, I lost sleep. I let my confusion, fear, and disappointment in disappointing others RULE. I don’t like when people disagree. Former ultimate people-pleaser speak: I just want us all to get along!!!

Finding peace in this headspace was a challenge.

So, what did I do?

I let it go.

I said, ok, we disagree, and that’s ok. It has to be ok. This is what we need right now. The path is disagreement. If God wanted us to agree all the time, we would have been all the same. Which, if I were choosing, I would have made all of us Oprah. (I know, I know: agree to disagree….but I love Oprah. I also love Sonia Sotomayor. I could have gone with that choice, too, since she has the work ethic of a god.)

I breathed. I baked. I cooked. I tried to do the things I love to do and kept going.

And you know what? I found my way back to peace. I always find my way after a little time and effort.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace?

Peace in Snowflakes

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Our little family of five celebrated a quiet Christmas this year. It wasn’t exactly how I planned things, and that surprise led to a little bit of disappointment. I love big family celebrations, especially this time of year. So when there wasn’t one on the horizon, I needed a pick-me-up, BIG TIME.

This year, instead of getting sad or depressed, I decided to pack my own sunshine and deliver it to everyone.

“What would Buddy the Elf do?” I wondered.

This gave me a GREAT idea. Remember that scene when Buddy spends the whole night at the department store, sleeps for 45 minutes and prepares everyone for Santa?

BINGO.

I spent the days leading up to Christmas cutting snowflakes. Not all day every day, but I made sure that the kids and I spent a good bit of time cutting. We made over 40 snowflakes together, each one unique. We made paper snow chains and mobiles, too.

I stock-piled our little arts-and-crafts project for Christmas Eve and then took to my elf’s work with Hubs while we ate cookies and giggled like mischievous gnomes.

When we were done, the glow of the Christmas tree reflected on each tiny snowflake dangling from the ceiling, creating an indoor winter snowscape like I’ve never seen before.

We restored peace in our home through creativity and creation. We smiled knowing the kids would just love it when they came down the stairs on Christmas morning. We found peace in snowflakes and could do nothing but smile.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!