There is so much open space where I live. I live in the belly of 360 degrees of Mother Earth’s mountains. Occasionally I see a house, but, mostly I see sky and trees, open fields covered in a blanket of snow and giant jutting hills reaching for the skyline. I love all this space, but occasionally I get lost.
I get lost and I don’t know where to begin. I’ve had the same experience when I face my desk and there are a zillion sticky notes asking me to do something with my time. I’m lost because I can’t find the beginning.
Making a choice is the critical thing. I have two sisters with beautiful gardens while I have a bountiful amount of bindweed. Both of them have told me at various times to find the beginning. It seems so simple. But with all this space around me, I had trouble knowing where the beginning was.
“Just notice,” one sister advised. “Notice what you do. Notice where you look. That’s the beginning.” She was right. I noticed where we walked through the grass, making a muddy mess and that seemed like the beginning.
“I’d like to build a brick path here, where we walk, instead of this muddy mess.” I said to my husband. He bought me all the right tools, warned me it would be hugely time-consuming, not to mention difficult and kissed me on my way.
He was right. The bricks were exhausting, but finding my path amidst all this space was exhilarating beyond imagination. I was stunned by how much calm descended simply by allowing myself to place the next brick and the next.
In my life I often fret over what is next. My sisters’ gardens are so lovely in August and September. There are things they do, even in January, however, to make that happen. They read flower books. They think about the birds they want to lure into their gardens. Their spaces seem so filled with them.
For me, I had to find the beginning of my garden by noticing where I walk. Then I had to plant my feet there by placing bricks to make a path. Now that I’ve found my path, I’m ready for the next step. I wonder what that will be.
Do you have a path you’re making or following? Is there something in your outdoor life that helps to calm an inner turmoil? I’d love to know about the altared spaces, paths or otherwise, you use to tame the large spaces that surround or overwhelm you.