As I did some weeding among the irises, I mulled over the many memories they have for me.
When I was 10 or 11 my grandmother would have me help her in the garden. One of the jobs she wanted done was trimming the irises when they were finished blooming. She had me cut the leaves into a fan shape.
When I was a student in college, one glorious spring day I volunteered to weed iris beds that lined the sidewalks on campus. “You can leave the violets,” said the professor’s assistant. Fortunately I knew which ones they were. In the fall there was a call for students to rake leaves. It is a joyous thing to be out in the crisp New England autumn air, gathering up the jewels of colour fallen from the trees. The professor remembered me and the next thing I knew, I was hired to work in the greenhouse and in the campus gardens, the best job I ever had. It was not the best paying one but it was such a pleasure to work with growing things. I learned a lot that I use every day, composting, propagation, etc. The irises were in full bloom on graduation day.
My father-in-law was a great cultivator of irises and gave me many of the ones growing in our garden today. A friend from our choir whose wife died gave me some of his collection, in pots left from the funeral flowers, each with a label. The labels have disappeared somehow but the memories of all these people are present in these beautiful flowers.
Here is a photo that has nothing to do with irises; I just want to share the joy I had today when I saw that these chia seeds have sprouted.
A scale of 0 to 10 could be used to evaluate physical fitness with 0 being dead and 10 being the utmost. Let’s say that with aging, one gradually loses 3 points. If you are at 10, then 7 still leaves you in pretty good shape. If you are at 5, then 2 would leave you virtually an invalid.
That’s what I was thinking during yoga class today. I was feeling pretty good, not a 10 as I am not athletic, but very happy that all my muscles work and rather pleased that I have slimmed down which makes everything easier. It’s not hard to just let things slide, time flows, the little extras add up, but by choice those little extras can go the other way—a few more steps, a quicker pace up the stairs, 5 minutes on the Nordic track, a change in diet….
We are also responsible for our mental health. If we let ourselves give in to despondency, we are soon in a black downward spiral. The world is in a sorry state and perhaps all is not rosy in our personal lives. Just thinking positive thoughts, at the out start, changes nothing either way. It does make one feel better though and thus contribute less to that black cloud hanging over humanity; gradually it does some good for all.
Our spiritual nature also needs its muscles exercised and to be fed. The soul is built by doing good and its food is the Creator’s Word, written in the Bible, the Qur’an and the Revelation of Arès. Pronouncing a few words each day with the intent to accomplish them effects a cleanse and strengthens.
“The soul is the specter’s eye, hand, throat, stomach; through the soul I can warm up the specter with the radiance of My Glory, I can lead it to the limitless splendors, I can hear its praise and its talk, I can feed it forever.”
May I be physically, mentally and spiritually fit. Up from the chair now, action…..