I've learned a lot more about gardening this year, thanks to not only my avid gardening gurus and friends, but...my own father. I've learned so much from him, that much about gardening and farming is about the wisdom derived from, not just trial and error, but...patience.
Patience. What a virtue! Where many are running around with their hands in the air, convinced that the "sky is falling"...there are still many who have seen worse times, worse diseases/viruses, worse economic instability, worse injustices.
I now live in my Grandparents' home. Albert and Doris Lund. Survivors of the Depression Era, they weathered many of the storms and trials (literal and figurative) of their time. There were no laptops, no cell phones, no Internet. Cars were a luxury for many. So was a television set. No Netflix, no YouTube, no XBox.
In our home, we had what my Mom called the "School Closet". A closet filled to the very top shelf with toys, books, puzzles, games, cards, blocks, tiles, musical instruments, tools, matchbox cars, crafts, crayons, paints, paper, etc. This Closet became my escape on so many occasions. Even when my brother and I were in trouble and/or grounded (which was a LOT of the time, LOL!)...the School Closet was never off limits. It was the one place we could go to satisfy our imaginations...calm our fears...play without boundaries. Might think that being "grounded" in our home was not so bad! LOL
Now in my Third Life, I can most certainly get caught up in a lot of drama and issues, at work and in the community. I get on Facebook and can laugh, shed a tear, roll my eyes, get my dander up on politics, social issues, etc. But I also think about what is now in my own "School Closet" and very much try to fill my mind with The Nouns that resonate within me. Not persuaded or influenced by outside forces, but a true refuge that shuts out all of the noise.
I know. This might all sound a bit naive and fairytale-ish. But if you knew the kind of life I had to live to get here, now...you might think twice. Because I've seen, felt and have experienced a lot of ugly, and who wouldn't want to escape and create a School Closet? A place where you and your mind and imagination rules. A place where you're not judged by the color of your skin, race, gender, spirituality or class. A place where you're "grounded". A place where you can be you.
I hate Election Years. It's a time where political parties are trying to persuade and tell you how to think and move. I know that the word "hate" is a very strong word to use, but...I do use it (pretty much) every four years. Everyone has a bandwagon and an agenda. Everyone has a PR/Marketing plan to bait and lure. Everyone has their own "thing" where they try to influence and solidify their own "base" and masses.
Me? I'm not a "sheeple". Lately, I pretty much configure myself to the "Island of Misfit Toys" when it comes to Election Day. Both parties - the Left and the Right - have become absolutely and fundamentally ridiculous. Those who cannot see this, I feel sorry for. For those of us in the Middle (Moderates), we bear (and have had to accept) the burden of "Balance". It's really not fair, but...what, in the grand scheme of life...ever is?!
The "Dog and Pony Show" aside...I think of my Grandparents. Out here, in the rural towns of Wyoming, no one really thought - on a daily basis - how things might pan out. They were just workin' to make a livin'. Trial and error. The powers-that-be "above heads" may be in control, but...we all have our own "School Closets" to escape to. To read and ponder. To think and discuss. To shed the present "musts" and "have to''s...and dream of the "might be".
Lately, I've been binge-watching "Star Trek, The Next Generation". I had followed and watched it religiously in its time, but...I'm watching every episode again. What a brilliant series...where money/currency has no worth...where race, color, gender or religion has no power/control...where a mixed crew goes into the galaxies of the Universe "where no one has gone before". After I watch each episode, I wonder: Why does it take a science-fictional TV series for us to finally understand?
You might believe in Jesus; you might believe in Allah. You might believe in the Great Spirit...in the gods/goddesses...or any other Entity, and I completely respect that. But so many terrible things have been done and said in the name of Jesus and Allah. So many "gods" and Nouns throughout history have plundered and destroyed. So much hate, so many beliefs in lies and half-truths have been programmed into the human heart and mind, that it takes a Power greater than religion or tradition to overcome them...and that Power is: Love.
Love can cause a rise and fall. It can both build and crumble empires. It can heal. It is patient...and it is kind. For those who try it out, it can change their lives. For those who choose otherwise, the chaos and destruction continues. It's crazy that a tiny virus created such a chaotic paradigm shift in attitudes and behaviors. I wish that Love could have done that long ago.
My own "School Closet" is filled with a lot of Love. But I admit, my patience is running a bit low these days. So when I start feeling that overwhelming anxiety because of all the negativity and noise, I find a calming refuge in the beauty of a sunrise or sunset...a blue sky filled with clouds of all shapes and sizes...the smell of rain in the air...a garden filled with vegetables...a pot filled with flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors. The sound of birds in the morning. It all brings me back to "me" again. Grounds me...heals me.
What do you fill your "School Closet" with?
(That said...anyone want zucchini?) 🤣