This year with our greenhouse oasis in the cold backyard, I have plenty of space to keep our seedlings warm. There's parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil, calendula, chamomile, catnip and sunflowers growing already.
Waiting for the day I can actually go outside in shorts and a tee shirt barefooted and put my hands in the dirt takes so long here in Massachusetts so in order to not get depressed about it, I volunteer in horticulture and take as many classes as I can to learn about gardening and other areas of interest.
The Garden Clubs of MA sponsored another fun and interesting two day course at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Attending lectures given by university professors, nursery owners and authors was fascinating. It's important for all of us to continue to see colorful flowers and have new experiences to remain relevant and inspired.
At one of my workshops for Alzheimer's patients and their families, we used air dry clay and plant material to create ornaments. Walking through the conservatory brought back happy memories for the participants and were my reward for creating the program.
Working with patients with dementia and their caregivers as well as long term care facilities has given meaning to my life in way I couldn't imagine in my early 20's. The steady increase of Alzheimer's disease cases is alarming. Senior citizens are caring for their old old parents (yes, 80+ is "old old") while facing their own physical, financial and career challenges. My clientelle is growing rapidly as the need for education in keeping loved ones mentally stimulated while daily entering the alternate reality of dementia is deeply acknowledged.
Blue and green everywhere in Spring is like a veil has been lifted from the earth. I'm still wearing gloves while driving with the heat on high but it looks so bright outside. Little garden shops have plants for sale even though there's nightly frost warnings. We can't wait for planting season. Winter sometimes feels like a long sadness to me-people who love snow sports can't relate to this-I'm slower and have a tendency to ruminate. But on bright, cold days in early Spring, the landscape seems to be taking a deep, young breathe waking up and inviting me to join it, saying "let's get going"! Those seasons of my life of stillness, unwanted waiting and uncertainty are in the past and again nature pushes me forward if I forget myself and become part of life.