Lately, I have been thinking a lot about comfort. Because I have been craving comfort. And perhaps for the first time, I have been making the time and creating the place to make comfort a priority. Every morning after the breakfasts and lunches are made, the kitchen cleaned up, my daughter off to school and my son set-up for his online learning, I have been crawling back into bed. Not to sleep, but Instead I have been throwing open the curtains to let in light, bringing my coffee with me to warm my hands and nurture my spirit, and opening up my laptop to read and research and write. Yes, my son comes and goes with his homeschool questions, but mostly I am alone with my thoughts. This is what comfort looks like right now.
My days have been the slowest they have been for years. I am not pushing myself very hard. I am softening and letting more of my life unfold on its own.
Yes, my daughter has been getting me up during the night and I am tired and that forms part part of this need. But something else happened to me while I had Covid. I felt vulnerable and despairingly soft at times. I had no choice but to bring almost everything to a halt for a bit. And there were aspects of this time that felt unexpectedly very good.
I am intentionally re-creating the best of those unexpected feelings on a daily basis.
Still, my relationship with comfort is complicated. I suspect I am not the only one. At around age twenty, I made a conscious decision to stop having such a comfortable life. I lived a pretty cushy suburban childhood. I didn't know what it meant to struggle materially and to go without basic needs being easily met. At twenty, alone in my thoughts during a car ride to a farm in the interior of BC, I decided to be poor, for awhile. To find out how most the world lives. For a period, I had no bed and slept right on the floor. I lived with tons of people, without privacy. I lived in old, uninsulated, barely heated homes. I worried about making ends meet and there were times when I came very close to not being able to. I worked very hard.
That seems like a long time ago. I still carry around the lessons I learned, and I have held on to hang-ups, too. I discovered I was strong. I stopped being afraid of poverty and I still find it pretty easy to take big risks in my life, especially if this means I could ultimately be happier and fulfill dream or two. But I carry around incredible guilt when I take it easy and do nothing. Just reading the passage above about how I have been spending mornings for the past two weeks makes me cringe and, yes, feel ashamed.
There is a war going on! People are driving a long commute to underpaid jobs! Single mothers are working three jobs and going to school! Right. This. Very. Moment. What right do I have to do what I want and be comfortable while doing it? I am not going to even try to justify my mornings to myself. The most honest I can be with myself, the best I can do, is to acknowledge to myself how lucky I am and to feel grateful for all that I have. The guilt will never go away. I am not sure I want it to. That might lead to entitlement. That might remove any social consciousness I have. Yes, I am confused and conflicted. And I am sitting in bed, legs criss-cross under the covers, and my warm coffee is on my bedside table. At the same time, the weather has been pretty cool outdoors and so there is not as much to do in the garden this week. I pruned the lavender and sage plants so that they won't get all woody and they will have pleasant shapes. I planted the fennel and zucchini seeds and spot-planted where broccoli seeds haven't yet germinated. We ate the first of the asparagus. Finally, the year has arrived that our asparagus is mature enough that we can eat it with abandon until June.
I transplanted out more Cosmos, Bells of Ireland and Strawflowers. I have been enjoying the beautiful tulips whose bulbs evaded the greedy vole. My fingers are crossed that voles don't find dahlia tubers delicious, too. I wish I could dig up the soil around my dahlias to find out if they are there. Instead, I have to stay patient and rely on my breath to fend off anxiety.
Indoors, I have created more Wild Chamomile Shampoo Bars and I have finally listed them on my website. I am enjoying the feedback I am receiving and even more, I am thrilled to see how beautiful my friends' hair is looking. The other night, I was literally entranced by one friend's hair. I am not sure how many times I repeated how great it looked. She probably wondered what was wrong with me.
I have been dreaming about the flowers to come this summer and fantasizing about one year in the future, drying every flower I harvest. I have fallen in love with creating from dried flowers. I am preparing for the season ahead by making natural wreath forms now, in all different sizes and I am beginning to experiment with shapes, too.
I enjoyed some wonderful conversations last weekend at Your Local Small Market and at my Garden Stand. Thank you for coming out.
This weekend I will have Cucumber plants, more Tomato plants, Annuals and Perennials for sale at the Garden Stand. If you have any questions about growing, please let me know. Send me a message through my website, put your question in the comment section on the blog version of this letter, or visit the Garden Stand to ask me in person. I love to help you create more success in your own garden!
All my best,