I find the oomph in flowers and prose.

My first sewing teacher used to tell me that she found sewing relaxing. I have never become skilled enough that I ever found that to be true for me. Even when I generally derived great satisfaction from sewing darling doll clothes, my neck would get stiff doing the tiny hand stitches at the end. It would never occur to me to pick up a needle and thread for fun or sustenance, during the days of preparation for a big expedition.

My usual way is to endanger my overall health by snacking and forgoing exercise as I become more anxious about setting off, so I was surprised at myself for taking several walks this week. This morning I even walked the whole two miles of what was formerly my daily routine. I saw a family of quail, and some old favorite plants, but it was too early for the bees.

And now here I am working on yet another blog post, after reading and thinking and perusing this and that… one might think it a pretty inefficient use of my limited time, because I am up against looming deadlines. But, I am finding that these activities are as necessary to my overall well-being as the walking is to my legs and back — sometimes I think they are more so.

Evidently there is something about engaging in creative activity that is calming, and clears the mind. The preparations for a big social event also constitute a creative work, but that one is not my favorite, and requires a lot of extra oomph, plus a type of thinking that is a stretch for me. So I sustain myself with words and flowers. 

My first Love-in-a-Mist flower bloomed today! This was a Big Event, a project that started off with my longstanding admiration for these flowers, and a desire to grow them myself. It took years, and the donation of seeds from two friends, and then a couple more years, before I got them planted in the greenhouse in the spring. I put them in three different places in the garden, and hope that they will self-sow at least a little and keep themselves going from now on.

All the white echinacea are standing up tall and elegant, not losing their gracefulness even when the overeager asparagus fronds drape themselves on them.

When the sunflower that the bee sleepers were using began to fade, they rearranged themselves on others. The three above were seen yesterday morning, but last night and today, no bees at all were bedded down in the open — only this small creature was nestled in a sunflower bud:

I am traveling next week, driving nearly to the bottom of the state, which I’ve never done before. My trip will involve lots of visiting with friends and family, a wedding, and a mountain cabin. I hope to tell you about some of the bloggy details as they emerge, but once I’ve torn myself away from my desktop and my garden, there’s no telling what might happen!

9 thoughts on “I find the oomph in flowers and prose.

  1. The little ladybug nestled at the base of the sunflower bud makes such a charming photo. I hope you have an enjoyable trip. We’ve been away and as I catch up on gardening and household duties I muse over the sights we’ve seen and the things we’ve done. Flowers are such mood boosters.


  2. It sounds as though you have a long and important trip ahead of you potentially filled with happiness, good people and an interesting adventure. Travelling long distances on one’s own is not always something to look forward to, so I hope you will take a good selection of music with you to keep you company whilst driving. It is going to be interesting to read about your trip on your return. Travel safely.


  3. I sustain myself with words and flowers. Yes. That works for me too.
    I hope you have a safe trip and an enjoyable time with friends and family.


  4. “I sustain myself with words and flowers” – that sounds perfect! 🙂 I love sewing, but no, it’s not relaxing. (I’ve been known to sew the wrong sleeve in the wrong armhole, etc., so relaxing while sewing isn’t for me, anyway)


  5. Oh, Gretchen! I’m thankful for your gifts that are relaxing for you! Your perspective has helped me through some very difficult times.. your book recommendations have delighted me for years, and views on life there are similar to mine!

    I’ve taken on the church garden again and THAT is my creative and relaxing side. I’m never so happy as in my or anyone else’s garden!! I’ve been hiking a lot, but since the weather is now nicer, walks are fine and the beach even better!

    So I’m thankful to have you suggest a new perspective on daily life in your world.

    I’m going North for the first time in 3 years for my granddaughter’s wedding.. flying this time. I only have a week and a half to do everything this time, as everyone there has booked plans for August and the wedding was just announced!

    I’ll Pray for you on your journeys!



  6. Congratulations on your love in the mist! It’s a beautiful bloom. I think we all need a hobby or passion that gives us that oomph, that provides us with satisfaction both when it is done and joy while doing it. You have most certainly found your niche! The garden is glorious.


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