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Report From PIA – July 4

When I was in my 30’s I attended several spiritually oriented workshops and retreats, and a recurring theme was the wisdom of wanting what you have. Of course many of us immediately resisted this notion, saying something like, “Should those with cancer want to have cancer? Are you saying that those who are hungry should want to be starving?”

Of course not. And isn’t it interesting that those who were attending these gatherings were not struggling with illness or hunger, and yet our first response was to back-peddle from any notion that we might be content with how things were right now.

The notion of wanting what we have speaks to being in the moment and appreciating what is here right now. It is possible to be in that place of thankfulness and satisfaction, without desire, and yet be working toward something better. We can live in the here and now without envy or grasping at what we don’t have, while still moving forward. We live with paradox all the time, and here is but one example.

Gardeners have daily opportunities to want what we have. In the landscape, there is often no choice. I might wish for more rain, but the endless string of sunny days is what I have. I can appreciate how this causes my tomatoes and annuals to grow, and water those plants that are becoming stressed, being thankful for the ability to do both of those things.

As I walked around the garden today, wanting what I have was on my mind because it puts the capacity for acceptance, the responsibility for moving forward and the balancing of the two squarely on me.

In all aspects of life this is a challenge and a blessing. Rather than backing away from the concept of wanting what I have, I am well served to think about how it helps me to live and garden more fully.

It's easy to want what I have when the garden grows well, is recently weeded and the sun shines through the foliage as the day ends. I have experienced being without gardens, gardening in tiny spaces, and designing gardens when I had no money to buy plants. I've grown a garden in times of too much rain and not enough moisture, through bug attacks and bumper crops. All of these experiences find me cherishing the garden as it is...not that I don't find myself wishing for more rain, or for the earwigs to stop munching on my dahlias already.


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