Monday, October 10, 2016

Laying Down and Lifting Up

The time has come. My garden tools are ready. There is no use putting it off any more. It's time to put the garden to bed for the winter.

I didn't have much of a garden this year as I wrote in a previous blog. Between construction trucks, piles of debris all over the place, and a summer with very little rain but plenty of bugs, my haul this year was a drop in the bucket compared to last year. Last night we had frost. This morning everything was covered in a shiny, silver, lacy shawl. It's time.

Sometimes we just have to come to terms with situations or ideas that need to be put to bed. Either they have outlived their usefulness, or they never bore fruit - or at least the kind of fruit that would nourish you. Sometimes instead of holding on to it with a death grip because you are sure it has at least one more blossom left in it, you just have to lay it down and pick up something else.

Last week I was reading a book about Buddhism and, specifically, meditation. The author said that when he was done sitting, he would get up, bow to his meditation cushion, and say, "I lay down all of my burdens, and lift up enlightenment." The thought of doing that inspired me. I started implementing that phrase at the end of my yoga practice in the morning. I thought that since I was laying down tight muscles along with the strangle-hold my thoughts often have as I am unrolling my mat, I might as well surrender all of my burdens there as well and, when I got up from my practice, I would lift up a more enlightened spirit. It has proved to be a wonderful way to set the tone for the day. It allows me to go forward with a strong, healthy body and a strong, healthy mindset.

So today I am laying down my gardening tools and gloves for another year. The plants that can come into the house will do so, and the rest will be turned under. Any remnants of lettuce, basil or anything else that is edible will be cut and scattered under the bushes and trees where I know the neighborhood critters live. They will be happy to have it, and I will have a lighter spirit.

Today I lay down my burdens, and lift up enlightenment.

And so it is.