Right now the garden is thriving. Every leaf is reaching its leaves toward the sky, and every root is nestling deep into the soil, drinking up the ample nourishment that comes with abundant rains and enough organic compost. The sunflowers that were a foot high two weeks ago will soon be taller than me, and their flower heads follow the sun as it arcs across the sky, ending the day gazing toward the westerly hills. There are cabbages as big as my fist, canopies of kale providing shade for the vole who munches the beets, and if you were to stretch all of the winter squash and zucchini vines out in a line they would reach down the road and around the corner. Bees and hummingbirds are buzzing about, happily drinking up raspberry and oregano blossom nectar, doing their important pollinating work. The scarecrow is earning his keep as the peppers, tomatoes and eggplants stake their claim and the potato plants are starting to lean over in hopes of harvest. Eva, the resident three year old, likes to dart between the staked rows with bare feet and hide behind bouquets of wildflowers. Like I said, everything is thriving. And when I can remember how much life and abundance and beauty and breath catching astonishment exists just outside the door, I thrive, too.
When I remember to notice said life and abundance and beauty and astonishment, anyway. It’s quite easy to let the negativity blinders encroach and see with only tunnel vision into the problems and the hard tasks and the discontent that tends to pepper a human day. We humans have a bad habit of focusing on the negative. Even the optimists, I think. Even the people who see the glass as half full, and say, “hey at least I have a glass” aren’t immune to letting the low points dictate the trajectory of a day. Usually I’m one of those positivity touting, gratitude practicing people who likes to support other people in figuring out how to see the good in a day. I have written no less than fourteen blogs posts and newsletter articles on this very topic. But. BUT. I still struggle with wishing I were somewhere else than my desk (or in the car, or at the store, or engaged in some other undesirable errand) or thinking about how much I dislike a certain way I have to do a task at work or hoping the next person doesn’t answer the phone because all I want to do is put my head on my keyboard. Maybe there’s a reason black is associated with negative — it blocks out everything else.
Fortunately, there’s a cure for this state, and for me, it involves going outside: To the garden to witness the growth that abounds or to the woods to breathe in the cooler mossy air or to the shores of the lake to listen to the frogs singing to each other from under the lily pads. I’m fortunate to have access to ample wild beauty just outside my home office door, but even when I still lived and worked in the depths of the city, going out to the backyard or stepping out into the natural light during the workday meant the difference between going to bed in a foul mood or closing the day feeling connected to something bigger than myself.
So, as another day turns toward evening, let us all remind ourselves that there is much life and abundance and beauty and breath-catching astonishment right outside the door. Even in the middle of the biggest city on earth, all we have to do is look up and remember the wildness that invites us to remember our roots. We just have to let it find us and lead us home, even if we forget from time to time. Thoreau put it well when he said, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”
May wildness find you, with every breath.
For more on rewilding your life, visit We Are Wildness.