One Way of Relaxing in an Imperfect Garden

Glow of the moment,
Spread my restless attention
Like water, like peace.

My garden will never be perfect. I know that. And sometimes that makes it hard to relax in. I’ll sit down and try to enjoy being outdoors, but instead I’ll catch myself scanning around for things to add to my mental “want-to-do” list.

For my own sanity, there are times when I need to ignore all the things my brain is telling me I should do to improve the garden, and instead just focus on what thrills me about it right now.

Thistle gonna bloom.
Sidestep past it on the path,

It’s a difficult lesson. Mainly I’m collecting strategies. Here is one: challenging myself to write a short verse about the next thing I notice in the garden. Haiku is my verse of choice for this game; it keeps my attention on the tiniest details, in an effort to say something true and meaningful in only 5+7+5 syllables.

These brief glimpses into what I am sensing serve a dual purpose, bringing me into the moment as I write them and also capturing that moment, allowing me to revisit it later.

Collection of plants
Bound together with bindweed:
Wild bouquet du jour.

Posted by

Evelyn Hadden
on July 5, 2016 at 11:51 pm, in the category But is it Art?, Designs, Tricks, and Schemes.

Comment List

  • bittenbyknittin 24 / 08 / 2016

    Thanks for this post. Sometimes all I can see are the “failures”, need to remember the successes as well. And ignore the weeds.

  • Annie 29 / 10 / 2016

    What an absolutely lovely habit to get into. Quite often I find it difficult to practice mindfulness meditation techniques…it just feels like one more thing on the “to do” list – right after deadheading this clump of scabiosa, or repotting that agave. When the garden is “messy” I feel like my ADHD and anxiety go into power drive; the total opposite of the desired outcome of a morning putter in the garden!
    I’m definitely going to try this – short, simple, and easy to remember. Thank you!

  • anne 13 / 11 / 2016

    Wonderful practice Evelyn! I hope you gather your haiku and photos together in printed form for posterity. And by the way, what is that blue flower with the yarrow in the last picture?

  • John by the river 21 / 11 / 2016


  • Saxon 21 / 11 / 2016

    Oh, that peace *could* spread like water, like your restless attention. Love the glow…

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