Gardening / Parenting

Of getting at it and being in it

Three weeks from right this minute, I will be speaking at the Calgary Horticultural Society garden show. My topic this year: How to Make Gardening a Family Affair. And I had scheduled today for getting my notes together and starting in earnest on my presentation.

I kind of forgot, however, that it is now officially spring. More than that, it actually feels like spring. I want to be outside, and my mind is compiling the mental to do list of spring chores and projects that seems to come with the first whiff of wet earth on a warm breeze.

But even with these conflicting priorities–the intellectual work and the hands on chores– I find myself, this morning, doing neither. Why? Because it’s Saturday, everyone is home, with no commitments, and the sun is shining. Our five year old asked her older brother for a bike riding lesson. The teenagers asked to hang up the hammock. And the seven year old is making up for lost time with the sidewalk chalk.



There’s a part of me that wants to put everyone to work and get a jump on some of the many jobs ahead. I should be practising what I am planning to preach April 11, and getting a few pictures of us slaving away together while I’m at it.

Or should I? It’s hard for an analytical mind like mine to put aside the checklists and just enjoy the day, but that’s exactly what the day is asking me to do. And while I do intend to preach the gospel of shared work, I also hope to communicate the joy of shared experience. 

So a little weeding, and a little organizing, will happen today, but mostly I’m allowing Wordsworth’s advice to govern this spring:

” Enough of Science and of Art
Close up these barren leaves,
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.”



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