25 May 2013

bringing back an old practice

Long before I was a fabric and paint addict, I was a plant keeper. It was a slow, steady practice. It taught patience, persistence and to appreciate every small change that happens throughout life.

As life changed and evolved, I let the practice go. I didn't have the time, I told myself, and it was too much work. The truth is that I did have the time and it wasn't too much work but I let it go anyway. I'm not really sure why, being around plants makes me feel whole. My father was a gardener and more then anything else, keeping these little green fellows makes me feel connected to him.

I'm not an outdoor gardener, never have been. I prefer the indoor garden so this past weekend, I decided to fill that gap and brought these friends home to my studio:

They all need repotting and that fellow on the left desperately needs to be split into smaller plants. But oddly enough, two stops at home improvement stores did not yield small pots, all were too large. So in the meantime, I will water them and care for them as best I can. I want to keep the garden small but would like to add an african violet to the mix, they are my favorite flowering plant. I'll keep an eye out for one in my travels.

They also give me an excuse to use my more utilitarian pieces of my milk glass collection. They seem to approve. (And yes, that is a bar of soap in a bowl. It's grass scented and I often buy handmade soap to use for fragrance. The sun will warm it and it will give off a nice scent.)

I've been spending a lot of time in my own head lately trying to connect with the quiet side of my creative self. I've been running at full tilt and I have no complaints but in the back of my head, I kept hearing a small voice saying, "You need to figure out what the rest will look like. Now is the time."

I want to move into the future with a clear vision of where I'm going with my art. And while it sounds contradictory, it means I need to slow down a bit. I've still got plenty on the schedule to keep me happily busy (I don't sit completely still - not ever) but in tandem, self awareness is at the top of the list.

Somehow that activity feels complete with the return of an indoor garden - a small gesture to signal the recognition of a quiet pause.


Lisa Chin said...

I let go of my inside plants about 5 years ago and I recently realized that when I let those plants go I let myself go as well. They were a sign as to how I was feeling. I now have some indoor plants. It's a great beginning. Your new garden is beautiful!!! Wishing you all the best in your quite contemplations.

Mary @ BarnBugStudio said...

I take excellent care of my two and four-legged family, and I adore houseplants, but I am shockingly neglectful of them. I bring them home and I know it improves the air quality and they're so pretty, but eventually the honeymoon is over, and the neglect begins. I am working on it. Best of luck with yours.

Jean Baardsen said...

An excellent book is: Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment - and Your Life, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Whenever I remember to pick it up and read a page, I have a better day.