Leif has been writing the articles for the Northfield News for over five years now and as I type them and read through them – once in a while – there is one that really touches me. This is one of those articles.
This is the article that appeared in the Saturday, July 8th, issue of the Northfield News.
Among the best experiences in life, the joy and wonder of discovery rank near the top of the list. In the fast paced modern world, our preoccupation with jobs and overly busy schedules crammed with activities and commitments makes it difficult to discover some of life’s simple joys.
It’s no accident that the increasing popularity of gardening and landscaping coincides with two career families becoming the norm. A well kept landscape and garden is a wonderful and reliable retreat from the frenetic activity within which we have immersed ourselves. When we care for the plants we’ve chosen for our homes, we have an opportunity for discovery each time we enter the outdoor spaces we have created.
Key to the process of discovery is keeping your eyes open, ears alert, nose in gear and hands ready to caress, tend and shape the basic elements of the landscape. For sixteen years I have driven the same mile and a half of gravel country road leading from the rural Northfield home I share with my wife Debora. Yesterday on a calm and slightly misty summer morning I discovered worlds I hadn’t seen before. For some reason my eyes were open to the wonders that unfolded before me as I slowly wound my way down that familiar country lane.
The sun had just risen, backlighting hundreds of round spider webs suspended on tall grasses and other vegetation. Luminous, delicate and intricately engineered, each web held a thousand tiny dew drops that revealed a small universe all its own. Each glowing web spoke of life and death and every living organism’s constant struggle to survive and prosper.
So striking was the sight of the multitude of glistening webs that I slowed my truck to a crawl. Coming around a bend and over the rise just east of my land, a freshly mowed field of hay unfolded before me. Windrows heightened the sense of a wonderfully fertile gently rolling landscape yielding its bounty for our benefit. Three crows glided across the rolling field, following a shallow draw through a low lying finger of fog glowing in the rising sun.
All was as it should be – peaceful, beautiful, full of life, and productive. I saw the familiar landscape in a way I hadn’t experienced previously. I discovered new worlds and new realities. Heightened was the contrasting beauty of the productivity of the land, and the struggle of life and death embodied in silvery dew drops hanging on hundreds of webs – each its own universe of both hope and death.
The scene was not my garden, but it is my landscape. Perhaps your landscape of the moment is a corner planter on the patio, or a thousand acre farm. Whatever landscape you travel through or live within, take a moment to discover the wonders that are right there in plain sight.
Slow down, breath deep, listen carefully. Life’s great joys are right outside the door, down the street, or wherever you allow yourself to find them. Some of the best things in life ARE free, if we only give ourselves the permission and the moment it takes to embrace some of the best things life has to offer.
Labels: Yard and Garden Notes by Leif