Life’s Path

The weather pattern was weird today. Normally, at this time of year, the highest temperature is around 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon, but today started out in the fifties (Fahrenheit), and got increasingly colder. Luckily, I checked the weather before I made plans — though to be honest, my plans are rather uncomplicated. In fact, I had no plans (plural) for the day. I had just a plan (singular). And that plan was to water my grass. Since I checked the weather, I was able to get out when it was relatively warm (relative to the expected lows of 18 degrees), though relatively warm still meant wearing a coat.

I must admit, I do feel silly being out there watering in these last brisk weeks of fall, but I would feel even worse if my grass were to die of neglect before it even rooted itself. And anyway, it gives me a chance to meander around my paths. They don’t form a labyrinth, but as with walking a labyrinth, walking my paths seems to center me. A labyrinth is a journey into wholeness, a symbol of life’s path, and a reminder that we are on the path we are supposed to be on, and with my paths, I am literally on the path I’m supposed to be on. I don’t need the symbolism of a labyrinth. (The photo is of a labyrinth I walked when I was on my cross-country trip.)

I am hoping that over the years as I become more adept at gardening, every bend in my paths will lead me to something beautiful to contemplate, whether flowers, a bit of artwork, and of course, the grass that I am so assiduously caring for.

I still haven’t planted my wildflowers yet. I’m waiting until right before the first snow, though despite the chill today, it doesn’t seem as if we will have snow for a while. If there still isn’t any snow by Christmas, I’ll plant the seeds anyway and hope for the best. If they don’t come up in the spring, I can always plant more in the spring.

I’m trying not to hurry myself through the fall and winter months (I try to take each day as it comes), but I am looking forward to seeing where my paths (both life and garden) lead me.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Taking It Easy

Laziness doesn’t pay, at least not for me. Although I’m supposed to water my new lawn every day, yesterday, I refrained — it was too cold and chilly for me to go out, and the high temperatures weren’t going to get very high. I figured when it warmed up today, I could give it a good soaking.

It was a good plan, but plans tend to be overthrown by other plans. As it turned out, I had to work a full day today, so I needed to water before I left. That early, it was much colder than it was yesterday, and all my digits about froze.

I don’t seem to be able to water, either by hand or by sprinkler, without getting soaked. I thought I was being smart by wearing nitrile gloves to keep my hands from getting wet, which did work for that purpose, but those gloves didn’t do anything to stave off the cold.

Luckily, we will have a respite from the cold for several days starting tomorrow. And since I gave the grass a good soaking today, if by any chance I have to miss tomorrow, I’ll be okay.

It’s funny to me that after my dad died, the last person I had any responsibility for, I eschewed every responsibility except for taking care of myself. I didn’t even want a houseplant — it overwhelmed me just thinking of having to care for it. And now here I am, with a house, plants (both indoor and out), a yard and grass. And a job helping to care for an older woman. That’s a lot of responsibility for a person who wants none. But surprisingly, it’s not a problem. I do what I need to do when I need to do it, and then take it easy the rest of the time.

So far so good.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.