Gardening, a way to heal

Today Dreamy and I walked, then I worked in the garden while he laid inside on the couch. From time-to-time he checked on me and faced his pointy nose toward the back door indicating it was time go inside. He only visits the garden to check on me, relieve himself or chew on a bone left for him outside. When I get inside, he is usually sprawled out on my bed waiting for a cuddle. Such is the life of a greyhound.

For me, the garden is place of peace to find myself. It’s a place where dirt gets under my fingernails and I sweat and swear and be myself without anyone else’s opinion. It is a haven, a sanctuary to relax and enjoy the simplicity of nature. There is no competition and no pressure.

But gardening hasn’t always been easy. In the early days my body would ache and hurt from the smallest effort and I’d be exhausted. Because of this, I started with small plants in pots. Bending to water or move a pot was painful. The excess fat over my tummy pulled on my back and limited my movement. Breathing was hard when I bent over. Sweating caused ulcers and infections.

My fitness has improved over the years and now my garden is bigger with rose bushes, a fishpond, a hedge, paths to sweep and lots of plants. Most of this I maintain myself and I can enjoy doing it without causing injury. When I do too much a sore back and shoulders are the result but given how much more gets done, it’s reasonable.

Gardening lured me into becoming more fit. Despite the pain, the enjoyment of this pastime was a distraction which kept moving me forward. I think this is the best type of exercise, one which draws us in and distracts us from our pain.

What are your favourite pastimes? What draws you into a better place, at the same time improving your wellbeing?

In love, Jenny

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