Getting Close Enough to See
PLUS: some floral-themed links for spring
First, some quick updates:
Thanks you to everyone who left comments on my last post! I truly appreciate every single comment I get, and there is always interesting discussion going on there, so please jump in and chat with us there!
I’m still mulling over a few ideas to sprinkle in, but I was glad to hear most people like the simplicity here.
Ok, on to today’s issue…
Yesterday, we took a walk down to the southern part of our 5-acre property. It’s a hilly expanse that sits below our house, covered in enormous blackberry brambles, beaked hazelnut, bigleaf maple, and anything else willing to grow where a forest once stood. Kenn’s been clearing it bit by bit with the tractor, so though we can walk through most of it, it remains wild and thorny.
I spotted wild irises along the ground, along with ferns ready to unfurl, deer prints, blossoms on some of the blackberries. From the house, I can see the whole piece of land, but none of these details are visible from up top. We have to walk down there and get a bit scratched up to see it all.
Both viewpoints offer an advantage. From up top, you get a sense of the whole layout, and it’s easy to imagine how we might someday make use of it. Maybe we can divide it up: an orchard over here, a pasture for animals over there, maybe we could plant a wildflower meadow. When I see the whole thing, I think big.
But down below, the focus shifts. There are already wildflowers growing. There’s a shady corner near the trees that doesn’t need much more than a hammock and a book. Rugged as it is, there’s a lot to enjoy, in this moment.
I feel this way about many projects. My tendency has always been to think big, dream big, and look towards the future. The details are blurry, but I have a vision in mind of how things might be. There’s so much value in that, because it has a way of propelling me forward and making things happen. It’s a call to adventure, as Joseph Campbell might say.
But there’s also value in getting up close and appreciating things as they are. It’s only then that I can see what I really have to work with, the beauty that exists already. You start to see that you can love things as they are, even as you change them.
Some of us are inclined towards the details, and some of us prefer the big picture. But flipping that perspective can help you notice even more of what’s in front of you.
What I’m Making
We’ve been working like mad on the vegetable garden. I’m proud to say that we built nearly all of it ourselves, from the deer fence to the gravel (which we’ve been shoveling for days). The only exception is the irrigation, which was a bit beyond the two of us.
Next, I’m planning to install an arch just inside the gate and grow some climbing roses on it, where the deer can’t destroy them. I’ll plant things deer and rabbits don’t like in the perimeter beds outside the fence, and roses, blueberries, strawberries, and other goodies inside.
Learning to garden with the constant onslaught from the critters out here has been a challenge. In the city, raccoons would pick my tomatoes (just the yellow ones??) and I once saw a rat bound happily across the lawn with a fat strawberry in its mouth. But they’ve got nothing on deer, rabbits, gophers, and even the birds.
Head, Heart, Hands
Things to make us think, feel, and do.
Accessing the Riches of Your Creative Mind. “An altered state of consciousness is one that’s missing the full complement of abilities that are present when the brain is functioning normally. Yet a brain in this state is able to do things that the normally-functioning brain cannot.”
The key to becoming extraordinary. “Your first principles are often the qualities you suppress the most—because they make you weird or different from other people.”