One of my favorite ways of shedding stress and returning to a balanced, centered outlook in life is to work with flowers.
As I putter around in my yard, weeding, pruning, and watering, tending the growing things there, it has a way of tending to the growing things in me, as well.
Knowing that the life-draining suckers of a rosebush need to be cut off, inspires me to do the same with the energy drains in my own life.
Touching with care the new, tender leaves of the magnolias reminds me to touch with gentleness the newly budding areas in me.
Seeing the lilies loaded with more buds than the previous year makes me think of the ways my own life has grown and added fruits, attesting to the maturing process I am going through.
Finding amusement in the clown-like curls in the middle of the Dianthus encourages me to find laughter and levity in the circumstances in which I find myself.
Providing fertilizer and water prompts me to remember that I, too, need to be intentional in seeking after rest and renewal, the encouragement and support of friends.
In turning the dirt and loosening the roots, I think of how freeing it is to air the heavy emotions, to cry, and to be less critical of myself for needing to vent those feelings occasionally.
When I remove a bucket of weeds and throw it in the compost pile, it makes me question what I have growing in my life that is detracting and sucking resources from the areas in which I truly want to flourish.
And in the evenings, when my work is done for the day and I sit in the middle of my beautiful flowers, I smile, knowing it is a work in progress; that while it may experience the set-backs of drought or aphids or the nibbling of deer, it will continue to grow…
… and with the proper love and care, it will thrive. Kinda like life.