Mary Jo Brown: Gardening an expression of self | CraigDailyPress.com

Mary Jo Brown: Gardening an expression of self

Mary Jo Brown/For the Craig Daily Press

My first experience with plants was helping my grandmother tend to her patches of spearmint and peppermint that were located on the side of her porch. She lived in Denver and didn't have much room around the house that was allotted for that. The yard mostly was lawn with one big tree in front by the sidewalk. In the back, there was a small space that had a clothesline and no sign of grass but plenty of hard-packed dirt. The neighbors had flower gardens next to her fence that I enjoyed looking at.

When we moved to Craig and eventually bought a house, my husband planted a vegetable garden. Some of the vegetables he grew there were entered in the fair and brought home several ribbons. That part of the yard later was made into a rock garden that had flowers here and there. The hollyhocks, which my husband considered weeds, tried to take over and I had a hard time keeping them from spreading. There were a couple of trees in the yard, and we built a platform there and enjoyed sitting out in the shade of late afternoon into the evening. The time spent in that spot during those years doing various things, family get-togethers, birthday parties or just sitting there enjoying the summer evenings, all learning experiences, was precious. Enjoying the solitude of the summer evening and listening to the sounds of the wave pool at City Park and the enjoyment of the people in it. Hearing the resounding noise of happy laughter mingling with other sounds of fun was a good way to end the day.

It was a good feeling to have a garden and nurture something, watching it grow and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Along with the feeling of contentment comes the growing realization of how awesome life is, whether it's the people in your life, the nurturing of plants or the many animals on this earth.

Gardening is a creative work, like writing or painting, a personal expression of self and a concept of beauty. When you are gardening it is a wonderful way to explore your real self, and the personal growth issues that are raised by our growing. A time to meditate in the quietness of the garden and clear your mind is one of the bonuses of gardening, nature is a patient mentor. There is a saying about taking time to smell the roses, so do just that. Slow down, enjoy your summer and the natural beauty of life we are surrounded by and what it has to offer. This is the season for us to enjoy the journey we are on in this life. Life, like a budding blossom, can be eventful and depending on how well we handle the change, will determine how we grow. Let the life changes result in growth not stagnation, a blossoming of a new experience not the wilting of you enthusiasm for life.

Happy birthday greetings go out to Zachariah Tabor and Stephanie Mayle, and thanks to those who are wishing me early birthday greetings.