Friday, January 1, 2010

Breathing in the New Year

Today I took a break. Keeping up with the process has already told its tale.
My pruning hand had swollen up like a soufflé last night, so I gave it a rest.
I spent the day painting, trying to capture rain and fog on the gentle hills of Sebastopol. It did me good, and my hand has deflated to something like normal.

We gardeners push ourselves sometimes. Like the artists we are, enveloped by our canvases, we suffer the skin tears and puncture wounds without flinching. Painting a landscape is not unlike pruning. Clip, clip, clip; daube, daube, daube. It takes a lot of the same thing, again and again, to get to the end. And, like painters, while we may work toward a goal, it is the process that contains much of the meaning.

While I prune in January, I'm often sketching May in my mind. Imagining how this corner will be improved, dreaming about new planting combinations, I see the garden more perfectly at these times than I ever perceive it to be when May finally comes. We are dreamers, visionaries, artists, ever anticipating the work, always painting the perfect garden of our minds.

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