Dirty Fingernails

Half an hour in the morning.

Ann swimming at the club, I’m dressed for yoga when she returns with the vehicle. Dog still in bed. I put down her breakfast to entice her out. I have scrolled through emails, thank goodness stayed off Face Book. My mind is racing with ideas… shall I communicate with myself in the quiet of the journal, or communicate with “you”—whomever reads this blog: today, tomorrow, or in the mysterious digital timeframe that streams on and on… (Robots are still reading older entries here: if I get a comment on a certain outdated post—it’s not from a human… the rest of you, I love hearing from!)

Half an hour in the morning. Unload dishwasher? Start laundry? Turn on the office computer? Clean my desk? For a few minutes I stand whirling in the midst of tasks and choices. Then breathe. What do I want? What would give this moment meaning?

I want to communicate something quieter than my mind, something small and green, a thought with bud and possibility. My primary reader is myself—I need to know I am capable of settling into the level of quite notice that writing is capable of instilling. If you want to come along, welcome…

Raven sculpture in the garden

Raven sculpture in the garden

It is rainy/cloudy/sunny today. Wherever you are, suck in this soft sweet air of gift. Rain. Cloud. Water above and below. A patch of blue is drifting down from the north. Puget Sound is an undulating grey blanket, the foothills are completely shrouded. Sometimes the clouds are so low it doesn’t seem that rain is falling, but rather emerging out of the grey and green of things.
This world offers so much beauty. The neighbor’s lilac bush is weighed down with purple blossom clusters as big as grocery grapes. We have nearly 40 peony buds shooting up in the garden. The spinach is ready to start munching, and we laid out a line of chicken wire fencing for the peas to climb. We weeded the beds, beheaded the tulips, and mowed the lawn before the rains came in.

World's biggest lilacs

World’s biggest lilacs

I need to keep doing this—bringing dirty fingernails to the keyboard. I need to touch the green, find the beauty, tend to nature—especially in places not so easy to find it. I have stood in a parking lot on a cell-phone call, knelt down and weeded the beds of struggling landscape plants. It literally grounds me in the conversation and in my place on the earth. I am tending. Tend, tendance, attention all stem from that same source.

Tend, v.t. means 1) to care or minister to, 2) to look after, watch over. Tendance means ministration, as to the sick. Tending is an antidote to all the pulls of attention that stream in from the machine world… Tending is a ministry—to my yard, to my hearth-friends, to what is not connected to the Internet and is connected to the web of life.

Half an hour… paying attention. I know I will put some green-time into my day.

 

Entranceway

Entranceway

 

 

1 reply
  1. John T. SPAGNOLO
    John T. SPAGNOLO says:

    Thank you. I have a tendency to pay attention to dirty fingernails. My cuticles are still stained from yesterday’s garden dirt. As the fog rolls over the knob here in NC, I will tend to my 30 minute Sunday journal and later my garden as the day warms up.

    Thanks for your thoughts, and a small notion of green “bud and possibility.”

    Reply

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