The following post will appear in the West Point/Valley Times News this week. Sorry if you've already read it. It's so good just relax and enjoy it again. Peace to all from the Hooch.
Deadheading my daylilies could be a full-time job. Actually they are Duke Boy’s daylilies but I keep them looking perky. Another life lesson in the garden comes from letting go of what’s holding us back. After the wonderful, refreshing, thank you God for the rain so I don’t have to water today, my daylilies are looking beat down. I’ve discovered if I cut off those dead blooms that the stem with new buds will usually spring back up and look for the sun. There’s not much more I can say about that except it helps sometimes to rid ourselves of what’s keeping us down. I’m not advocating running away from home or not paying your bills….What about not stressing over those uncontrollable circumstances? I’m not sure what they are for you—I do know we all have stress. Some of us handle it better than others.
Gardening helps me alleviate stress—I weeded two flower beds on Saturday. Double N, the cat with No Name, who now is a part-time resident of my garden, helped me weed. I semi-encourage the presence of Double N because I do attribute the relative absence of snakes, seeable snakes, in my garden to the cats in our neighborhood. Double N did get an evening of shunning from me last Sunday when I discovered a baby bird; dead, chewed, that was left as a gift for me after a weekend absence. I know it was gift because it was near my chair where Duke Boy and I share coffee on Sunday mornings. Hopefully, I made it clear that I was unimpressed. My Chatt-a-while garden edict is: you may eat of the snakes and squirrels but leave my birds alone. Actually there is a clause that says: You may frightened the birds with your presence if you notice them in the blueberry bushes but you may NOT capture and eat them, or toy with them, or use them as presents.
Back to the story about Double N and weeding the back hydrangea bed. It’s a very viney area with about three different kinds of vines that will choke the life out of anything if you keep your head turned for more than a week this time of year. I’m on my little Sunday school chair at the edge of the vine convention when I see movement—yep, it was Double N. I barely had time to get my breath back when while I was throwing vines in the wheelbarrow I saw something rising up—upon closer inspection I discovered it was Double N’s tail. He was on the other side of the wheelbarrow and all that was visible was his tail. This is why gardening for me is an aerobic activity. It never fails to get my heart rate up. I also get many opportunities to laugh at myself.
Double N is probably here to stay even though I don’t allow him to sit in my lap. He wants to but after Donnie’s last sneezing attack when he made that mistake, I decided not to give in to that comfort—on both our parts. How will you alleviate stress today? It’s a new day. Rejoice and be glad in it.
Call the Pastoral Institute if you need help alleviating stress.
Karen Erwin-Brown is the director of the Valley office of the Pastoral Institute. She offers individual, marriage, and family counseling by appointment. Call 334-768-2341 for more information or to make an appointment. The office is located in the Shawmut United Methodist Church in Valley, AL. It is a satellite of the Pastoral Institute in Columbus, GA. 1-800-649-6446.