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Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Seasonal

A dear friend of mine organized and leads a once per week session of yoga exercises at a nearby church.

Though I don't attend worship services there or attend the yoga sessions either one, I remain on the email reminder list for each session, because I don't want to miss the gentle urgings that are delivered right along with the class meeting times.

Each message reminds me to slow down, pay attention to my body, and gently care for myself, all as part of my caring for the world around me.
Hamelia patens with berries
Most recently the class reminder included the observation that (and I'm paraphrasing here a bit) "when the third Christmas cookie did not satisfy, I slowed down enough to realize I had never been hungry for the first.".  This slowing down and taking in, he went on to say, is an ongoing part of yoga practice.

Yoga is, for him, intentional attention, a "practice of noticing".  For my friend when it comes to yoga, his goals include a degree of presence and attention that moves the class sessions from exercise to meditative spiritual practice.

It struck me this morning.  The way my friend approaches yoga is the way I approach gardening with native plants in order to attract local wildlife.  For me, gardening this way requires more practice in noticing.  Working in and around the earth becomes, on a good day, a meditative spiritual practice.

Happy Holidays to all.  May your days be merry, bright, and filled with the wonder of growing.



16 comments:

Tina said...

I like that 'practice of noticing'. LIke you, I do that in my own garden (and other natural places). Beautiful photo of the hamelia--mine has the foliage color/patterns, but not the berries--so gorgeous! Good holidays to you and yours, TexasDeb and thank you for your informative and special blog!

Pam/Digging said...

I should have taken a picture of my Hamelia too. Yours is reminding me how beautiful it is right now in its fall colors. Thanks for your thoughtful post, and happy holidays to you!

Rebecca Newcomb said...

Ditto to what Tina said. My garden is where I slow down and appreciate nature, my life, and myself. It is a time for reflection and meditation as well as a time to appreciate the world around me. It provides a sense of peace when life gets topsy-turvy. Best wishing for a wonderful holiday season and splendid new year! Oh, and I love how the hamelia berries look like glistening jewels!

Kris Peterson said...

Very wise advice, especially at this time of year when it's all too easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle and lose focus on the central values of the season. That Hamelia with its glistening berries is very beautiful - it's not a plant I'm at all familiar with. (The genus doesn't even appear in my Sunset western garden guide.)

Happy holidays to you!

TexasDeb said...

Tina: Honestly I almost ditched that photo for this post since Hamelia patens is not technically a native plant, but it is so well adapted and mannerly and attracts so many native pollinators that I thought I'd give it a pass. Hope you have a peaceful holiday season!

TexasDeb said...

Pam: Happy Holidays to you and all of yours. Reading your posts are a gift I give myself all year 'round.

TexasDeb said...

Rebecca: Glistening jewels is about right - the Hamelia berries really seem to capture the light even on overcast days. Hope you have a lovely holiday and get some time away from travel and business to appreciate your gorgeous gardens.

TexasDeb said...

Kris: You are such a prolific gardener (and poster!) I can only imagine how busy you are socially this time of year. I hope you get plenty of moisture (but not too much) and some quiet time to appreciate the wonderful spaces you've created around your home.

Hamelia patens is not a Texas native (Florida claims it) but is so well adapted it is used widely around the state. When we get enough of a freeze it will die back to the ground and reappear next Spring. It likes a bit of water to get established but once it is, it tolerates heat and drought with style. Mine grow to about 3-4 feet each year but I feel free to prune as it doesn't seem to bother them. Perhaps you'll be the first to try it in your area?

Happy Holidays!

Cat said...

Trying to be especially intentional about staying grounded in the present this season and not becoming overwhelmed with the busyness of the days. There is lots of joy to be found out there if I'm pacing myself to see it!

I so enjoy your thoughtful posts and insights. I'm so glad you've picked up blogging again. Your site is always a refreshing and thoughtful stop and I'm always eager to see and hear what you have to share. You're a sweet friend I've made along the way and I'm grateful for you. Merry, merry days to you, Deb. Much peace, Cat

TexasDeb said...

Cat: Awww. Your sweet words and peaceful wishes just overcame the start of what could have been a full fledged case of the Holiday Shoppers Crowd Grumps. Thank you for helping me stay grounded. I hope you and your family all have holidays filled with peace and light.

Unknown said...

Forget the Yoga.
Find a regular Qigong class.
Once a day, first thing upon waking, 15-30 minutes.
Inside or outside.
You won't be unhappy.

TexasDeb said...

Unknown: I believe you may have missed my point in posting but thanks for weighing in. It is wonderful that you and I and so many other people have all found their own way to relax, get centered and feel more a part of the world surrounding them. Different paths for different people! Have a peace filled holiday.

Debra said...

Slowing down, paying attention, listening as a first step to participating in the world ... appreciation ... Is this kind of awareness and focus one of the gifts of growing older I wonder? Life just seems to get better as time goes by.

TexasDeb said...

Debra: That one holiday song "Do You Hear What I Hear?" has always been a favorite. Perhaps I am only now beginning to understand why...

And yes, I agree. Getting older does bring gifts as well as challenges. I hope you and your family will all have a peace filled, centered, LISTENING sort of holiday.

dryheatblog said...

Slowing down, noticing the world around - for me the best way to get restored like that is both exercise and being in a garden. Watching how plants respond though is a favorite...on my hikes and rides, I really watch the seasons change, the effects of water, or temperature.

TexasDeb said...

DHB: I don't ride off road, but I do love to hike away from attempts at organized landscaping. I find a walking pace (with lots of stops for leaning over) is an excellent speed for observing or listening or both.

It has been too long since I walked any one route with regularity. I especially appreciated being on the same path most days of the year as it allowed me to truly feel part of each seasonal change.