My Space by Cathy Dellinger

"I can enjoy a profounder peace there, more comfort and few cares. I need never wear a formal toga... Everywhere there is peace and quiet." (Pliny the Younger, writing of his Villa Tuscum)

The sun is just beginning to set behind the ridge line. Fields, emerald green, have recovered from the third cut. Hay fills the barn, goldenrod dance in the distance, and the crisp breeze settles the temperature down, within a blink of the eye. Autumn is in the air.

I do not write from the south of Italy. Here I sit, in a small valley nestled within the rolling hills within the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. It has been said by the old-timers, "Look for a valley in the mountains and you shall find the farms, and gardens and life of the countryside." Yes, the family farm still exists here, by the skin of its teeth. And, as remote as it is, to the rest of the state, culture too has found its way here as well. But, what this region truly boasts, is perhaps a gardening mentality that is often obsessed with outwitting Mother Nature.

I am certainly a part of that community. This short growing season does not afford me the luxury to sit back very often, especially when it comes to tending the vegetables that go in and out of cover, eluding the early frosts. But, today, after reopening a path that saunters through my flower garden, I sat back, put my feet up and just watched.

Like everything else in life, there exist the yin and yang in gardening. We sometimes lose our balance in terms of the doing rather than letting things be. This season I let the flowers choose their path. Instead of trying to harness perfection, I have allowed perfection to harness me. It may take a bit more work this fall or during the spring to provide all these beautiful ballerinas the room they need to continue to dance. But this summer, they have jumped and swayed, peeked out from under cover of larger companions and stretched up towards the sun with only a minimal amount of assistance from me. I cannot ignore them for long, but for a moment I can find my space among them.

And to you, my gardening friends and fellow seekers, as the season slows down, slow down with it. Find your space within this little piece of heaven you have created. Enjoy it. Savor it. There is a time to cut, and prune and feed the rose. Most importantly, there is a time to stop for more than a moment, and sniff.

Copyright 2001 Cathy Dellinger

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