Day 260: Lavender Garden

September 16th, 2010

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank

I need to change the world outside of my head these days. The sweeping changes going on inside of me need some external markers. I am going after the spaces that have been crying to me unheard for many months now. My overgrown garden, full of self-seeded mess was the first place to clean. I was settled by the quiet of less in there, but then turning to the garden beds in front of my house, full of plants that I can’t even name in varying states of disrepair, I decided this space needed a complete face lift.

All I had to do was make the decision, and I started envisioning a small field of lavender in my front yard; that day I came across some lavender on sale at the garden store. It took most of the week to collect enough lavender plants and coordinate with my master gardener friend to pull it together. Discarding the old plants was as cathartic as cleaning out the garage. Turning the beds and adding real soil and compost was hard labor, which is how it is to bolster the foundation of anything. I never knew to love healthy soil until I tried to grow a garden and learned that the wealth of any garden comes from the earth that contains it.

While change is the constant, on most days, we can’t quite see how everything is different. It is like seeing your child wake up a quarter inch taller than the night before. It is always happening, but rarely noticed, which is why taking it upon yourself to modify the world, to bring more beauty to the places you love is so very satisfying. Even with the blisters on my palms and the slight kink of the back, giving myself to the task of improving the world, expending all my physical energy on it is a gift to myself.

Thoreau wrote: “Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.” I want to be good for something and growing gardens of lavender feels like a way of making love to the planet.

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