Thursday, April 5, 2012

Finding Joy Where You Can

“She started running water over the cereal bowls, with bits and pieces of cereal already hardened on them, and the sippy cups, smelling like grape juice. Sweet. Sickening smell, she thought. And the stickiness drove her mad. After she placed the dishes in the dishwasher, She looked out the window. Yes, that’s there I’ll plant my hummingbird garden, in that corner. Just a small space at first. Nasturtiums along the fence. Foxglove, Cosmos—and what else did Bea tell her? Hmmm. Dahlia. Oh yes, Annie loved Dahlias. She thought she’d get some red Dahlias if she could find them. A nice bright little red feeder in the middle of it all. “ —from Scrapbook of Secrets.
In the every day ordinariness of life, we all need spaces of joy, spaces where our minds are free just a bit—just like Annie, in the passage above. Sometimes we need to look up, glance out the window, and escape for a moment.
For me, that place has always been outside and many times, in my own garden. Don’t get anything fancy in mind. I love growing herbs, vegetables and a few flowers. One of my favorite plants in my Bleeding Heart, which I bought from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. I’d love to have a hummingbird garden like Beatrice in my book has—the one Annie is longing to plant. Just the idea of the garden soothes Annie as she goes about her daily chores. I really get that.
It’s so important for each one of us to find that thing—whether it’s gardening, scrapbooking, or knitting. Whatever brings us joy. A place where we’re not judged, a place where we feel safe, where the rest of the world melts away.
Even in today’s “connected” world where we have to participate in almost warped speed, it’s important to step back from it all sometimes and shrug. Stand firmly in your skin. Breathe fresh air. Remember who you are.
What is your thing? How do you connect to yourself? Or even escape from reality from time to time?


Linda O. Johnston said...

I love to look out my livingroom window at the view of the San Fernando Valley, Mollie. But I think the best place I can escape from reality is in front of the computer while I'm writing!

Mollie Cox Bryan said...

Yes. I sometime wonder how other people do it--those that always live in reality. lol. ;-) Thanks for commenting Linda!

Betty Hechtman said...

Nice about the bleeding hearts from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. I had a friend who had lily pads growing in his backyard pond that he'd gotten from this old time actress, Heddy Lamar, when they cleared out her yard.

My local getaway spot is walking in the Santa Monica Mountains at sunset. I can watch the lights twinkle on in the San Fernando Valley in one direction and see empty mountains in the other.

Monica Ferris said...

When I was a kid we moved a lot. And in each new place, I looked for a "secret garden," a place I thought was beautiful to look at. One place, in the Catskill mountains, was almost entirely beautiful, even just looking out the front windows. I was interested to learn it was my sister Dolores' favorite location, too, and for the same reason.