As we hit the home stretch of the AtoZChallenge, I want to congratulate all of the participants on a job well done. I’ve met so many great people in this process and had a blast. I hope you have, too.
Throughout this month I’ve posted photos of my garden. You’ve seen lots of flowers and lush, green leaves. But it’s what’s underneath that fascinates me. To have beautiful flowers and nutritious fruits and veggies, we need to tend to what’s underneath…the soil.
There’s a whole universe underneath our feet. Soil, untouched by pesticides, is alive and vibrant with microbes. When we eat organic food, we’re not just ingesting an absence of something, but the presence of microbes that can keep our gut healthy and strong in a toxic world.
Acid soil for blueberries, alkaline soil for asparagus…my soil varies from bed to bed, depending on the needs of the plants. As with everything else in life, one size does not fit all.
Recently, while digging in the garden, I encountered a large population of worms doing their thing, aerating the soil and leaving their rich castings behind. My compost bin is loaded with them, wriggling, turning, and crawling around, turning my food scraps into rich, black, nutritious food for the soil. When worms are hanging around, you know you’re doing something right.
Our soil needs nurturing just as our bodies do. Come spring I add plenty of compost, both homemade and store-bought, mixed with composted chicken manure. I spray my fruit trees with teas made from comfrey, nettle, neem, and kelp. It’s the same time of year I do my spring Ayurvedic cleanse, in which I load up my body with cleansing foods to improve digestion. Yes, my trees and I are all eating nettles, dandelions, and other healthful greens.
The soil is the foundation of all life. When I tend to the foundation, the plants are sturdy and better able to withstand the challenges of pests, fungi, and other diseases.
Each day I tend to my own foundation first. I begin each day with a routine that strengthens me: Ayurvedic self-massage, gentle yoga, breathwork, and meditation. This brings me a sense of peace that grounds me throughout my day. I started doing this last fall after our legal woes ended as a way to rebuild my strength, and now I don’t miss it. It takes some time, but it’s worth it.
Looking at what’s underneath, we can find hidden aspects of ourselves. Recently I came up with an idea for a one-act play…I’ve never written a play before, but why not? Looking underneath, I discovered the need to end a marriage to someone I still cared about because, love or not, it wasn’t a healthy relationship for me. Underneath, where noise and busyness cease, I find a truer self.
I’m hardly perfect at this. Some parts of my yard are overdue for protective mulch, and the weeds are threatening to take over. Some days, despite my best efforts, I am off center or cranky. But each morning, back on my mat again, I start over. I let go. I try again.
Flowers and food are sexier subjects in the garden…but the hidden, what’s underneath, is what really matters.
Ohhh, I so totally agree with you. I could learn a thing or two from you as I have not been able to get into the habit of eating nettles, etc. Digestion is a problem for me. Some of the yoga I can not do because of my squirrelly structural problem. But I love the time here at my computer, in the quiet, looking out at the trees and the bay. It gives me my sense of joy. As for “underneath” we are putting all of our clippings over the fence. You should see the crop of nettles back there… Read more »
I would love to get together! I don’t know Doug…at least I don’t think I do. Names are not my forte. But we will be in town most days for the next four weeks or so. I have a feeling we have lots to talk about!
I’m all for whatever brings us joy. It sounds as if you have found your way and know that does that for you.
I think you know my email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Next week is a bad week for me, but the week of the 4th looks good. Also, Elizabeth Murray, a friend, is presenting her book, “A Long Way from Paris” at Barnes and Nobles in Silverdate at 2:00 tomorrow, if you are interested in coming down. Most of the gals from my writers’ group will be there too. Just an FYI. Let me know what your time frame is. I don’t mind coming up there. I love Sweet Laurette’s. Gwynn
I’m going to try to make the reading in Silverdale if I can. So far it’s looking good. We love Sweet Laurette’s, too!
I am tall and my hair is now white. I’ll be helping Elizabeth. I look forward to meeting you.
Great! I am short. My hair is highlighted and cut in a bob.
What a wonderful post. You have a wonderful self-care practice. Very inspiring. The underneath definitely matters – it’s the most important. Without it nothing grows, spiritually or horticulturally.
I’ve also been enjoying the A to Z challenge. And I’m so happy to have happened upon your blog.
I love your blog, too. It’s so rich!
Oh, thank you. That means a lot.
Thanks, Ula. It took me a lot of years to get here, but I sure like the view from here!
Yes! The home stretch. Its been fun, but I am looking forward to the Letter Z.
A to Z Co-host
V is for Vortex (the paranormal kind)
Me, too! I now know my Z word, too! (whew) Still scratching me head on X, though.