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Sarah Maxwell

Finding your inner peace

Lately, life seems to be pretty busy. I feel like there is very little time to just recharge at the end of the day or even the week. The world just keeps turning. All I seem to be able to do is just tread water until a wave washes me to shore.

Winter was rough; with how cold and bitter it was, I couldn’t enjoy the beauty all around us. Taking my dog Nile for a walk was a rarity. It got too cold for him to handle. I didn’t want his fresh puppy paws to get torn up and damaged by the salt.

Finally the calendar turned over, and spring started to come. We started to get warmer weather. Green stuff started to sprout and get brighter. Our lawns needed mowing; shrubs needed pruning; and trees started to produce shade. It seemed like Mother Nature would finally give us a break.

And a break she did, except when she let things warm up, the farmers had to go. So the break was short lived. But now, they are starting to wind down for the spring, and the fields are starting to blossom with rows of short green plants.

I feel a sense of hope and promise for all things to come, and I guess that’s what spring is all about. It’s the reminder that winter won’t last forever, though it may come close to seeming like it.

It’s the feeling of promise that helps me through the weeks. I don’t feel as overwhelmed when the sun won’t set until late in the evening.

On Sunday, I had my parents out for the afternoon. My mom and I worked on a sewing project. I needed her insight to get past a step, and my dad napped. We had dinner outside on the deck. It was the first time since the fall that we were able to set up our patio set.

After they left, I was able to complete my garden boxes: Two with flowers and one with rosemary, thyme and basil. As I was shifting the dirt around in the boxes to make room for the plants with Nile and Tucker, my parent’s dog, playing on the deck, I felt a sense of inner peace. It’s taken me two years to start planting, and with it, I felt this giant sense of relief.

Now I can’t say that gardening with the help of a couple dogs will always give me some relief, but I can say in that moment I felt like I was able to step off the hamster wheel and just enjoy the evening. It was the first time in a long time when I didn’t think about my never-ending to-do list or what would have to be accomplished first thing Monday morning at the office. I was able to feel carefree and calm — all because of a little dirt under my fingernails.

Now with the deck mostly set and ready for summer, I think I’ll be able to relax a bit more and slow down to smell the roses. Or in my case some marigolds and salvias.

BCR Copy Editor Sarah Maxwell can be reached at smaxwell@bcrnews.com.