Finding Peace

Where do you find your peace?  Is it in your garden as the flowers wake up or the soil calls your name?  
I love love love it when I have free moments to truly walk around my yard and embrace the moment nature is in.  Today I took my camera outside and realized that if I hadn’t slowed down to look for photo taking opportunities, I wouldn’t have even noticed all of the things that were blooming around me.
It quickly brought me back to the present moment and I made a point to take deep breaths in and thank the universe for this very minute I was in.  It won’t ever return again.  And then I realized, as I have so many times before that we really need to be mindful of our moments.  Because they will bloom around us without notice and we will miss them.  I do not want that to happen.  I want to savor every second.
This year I am once again committed to gardening.  My husband makes fun of me each year at how I begin and the harvest doesn’t often produce with the same enthusiasm.  But, I keep trying.  This year I will not have childcare in the summer as I have begun following a teacher’s schedule.  My hope is that my girls and I will have more time to spend outdoors together in the garden – free from schedules and to-do lists and free from commitments.  I want to embrace my home, my family and my land.  So I keep on… 
Each year I do learn a little more.  I quickly learned that I must net my strawberries or they would get eaten up by the chipmunks in my yard.  I was raised near NYC where we did not have a garden.  But my Nanny had a patch of land behind her home in Yonkers and she and I would plant tomato plants and other small things.  I remember feeling the earth in my fingers and playing with worms as a little girl, things I didn’t do often enough at my own home and I am thankful that she gave me that gift.  It has inspired a love of nature in me and I strive to give it to my own children daily.  
I planted Stevia this year.  Have any of you done this?  I came across it and thought I’d give it a try.  If you taste the leaves it is amazing how sweet they are.  I’m not yet sure if I should grind them up or what but will do a bit of research online before harvesting.  I am curious about the health benefits or dangers.  
We have red pepper plants and zucchini already in the beds.  I also planted potatoes for the first time and onions.  I was surprised to see the onions have already sprouted after only a week of being in the ground. 
Last year my berries got all eaten up by the birds so again, I have learned and covered them with bird netting.  We’ll see how they do now.  I have so many seedlings to transplant and I hope they do ok.  That is the part where I often lose a few but I’ve been working to do a good job hardening them off well this time around.
I love the herbs I’ve planted.  Oregano and mint… rosemary and thyme.  The mint smells so wonderful when I walk by and it just amazes me that these things can grow from the ground and be so perfect.  How can that not be from something Divine?  Isn’t that proof enough?  For me it is.  
Finding peace is not always easy for me with my busy life.  The home is always in need of cleaning, laundry is always piled up… dishes are in the sink and daycare children need caring for.  My girls need homework, dinner and love… and my husband gets upset if there isn’t much left of me after doing it all.  Oh and wait… I have books to write, don’t I?  So this week I found some time to sneak away to do yoga and find my peace and it was wonderful.  I promised myself to do it more often.
Then, the other night I could not find my fourth daughter anywhere…. finally I found her… up away in a cabinet in her room where I usually keep winter clothing.  She was silent, reading with a lamp… finding her own peace and I smiled.  We all need it, don’t we?  I didn’t even mind the pile of winter clothing on the floor beneath me.  For a moment.  

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