This is it. This is the blog entry where I finally say, “I’m at that point in my life where I find bliss in tending to plants.”
It feels very prophetic.
A long time ago when I started blogging, I predicted that someday, if I should continue blogging to my old age, I’d stop writing about love, about angst, philosophy, anger, and frustration and just describe a regular day watering shrubs or flowers, digging loam and putting in fertilizers and such.
This is it. This is that day. Though I technically don’t have a garden yet. Just a few pots. Mulberry, palm, aglaonema, a money tree, a snake plant, a young pine tree. Watering doesn’t even take ten minutes. Swinging the hose. Accidentally getting everything wet and finding satisfaction in the mess.
But within those 10 minutes, I could profess, there’s joy and inner peace.
I also now understand that old people do this not because this is the only thing they can do considering their bodily limitations, but it’s because this is a much-needed retreat from the decades of mental, physical, and emotional battery of the rat race or the day-to-day survival schemes of youth. It’s medicinal, albeit in a desperate kind of way, as you somehow try to cure yourself or wash out whatever amount of crud covering your self is possible to scrub out in the time available to you. “Stress” is kind of a hacky, modern clinical way to describe that thick sludge. Boxes it lackadaisically as if setting bounds to it has ever worked. If stress had a ghost that haunted the corners of your waking mind and built and crowded the forbidding backgrounds of your dreams at night, then that might be it.
Thankfully, when you’re watering plants, your mind is blank.
You’re just in that moment, watching the glinting stream of water or the thin, shining glass-like droplets freely escape from the mouth of the hose–like children emerging from a tube slide with their hands raised and their milk teeth bared–and splash or splat with gusto against the muddy soil. And some leaves fall off. That’s ok. There are no rules. Some tremble as if rejoicing. If they catch the sun you could almost hear them sing. Nothing escapes and nothing penetrates this silent zone of nothing. Of not thinking and doing. Because this is not doing. Doing is when somebody tells you to do something and you feel like nothing inside you gets accomplished anyway. This is the opposite of that. This is nothing. A void of joyful meaninglessness.
It sucks that I’m only supposed to do it in the morning.