Forsythia: planted last fall; blooming this spring


Looking up through a sun-kissed maple


Could these be poppies?










Lacinato kale seedlings


Potted herbs


Fern fronds unfurling


African violet blooming on the coffee table

Ever since I wrote my Nature as Therapy post, I’ve been trying my best to pay close attention to nature, both outdoors and in.

I drank in the show my forsythia put on this spring.

My 12-year-old son and I marvelled at the quality of light that was filtering through the sweet green of newborn leaves as we walked home from school.

I reached back to memories of my mother-in-law’s garden and hoped my analysis (hmm…I’m thinking those are poppies) would prove correct.

I’ve harvested (at her request) stalks of rhubarb so my daughter can bake fruit crisps and cobblers.

I’m breathing in the unfolding beauty currently taking place in my front garden: my favourite soapwort a mass of tiny pink flowers, a delicate Deutzia shrub, several plantings of blood-red cranesbill.

I made newspaper pots and started lacinato kale seeds, nurtured them into being and have (somehow) kept them alive long enough to plant in my veggie garden.

I bought several pots of fresh herbs, snipped the required amounts to make another batch of this vegetable broth concentrate, and am now DETERMINED to keep these plants going (despite having failed miserably each and every other time I’ve attempted to keep herbs alive-and-well).

I tossed the you’re-too-difficult-and-you’re-just-bringing-me-down houseplants and am working diligently at caring for the ones that remain. I’m watching with delight as the re-potted ferns make themselves at home and send new fronds up through the soil and into the light.

All of this naturing — all of this deliberate noticing and nurturing and caring — has caused me to reflect on something my dear friend Rita said last fall:

I really miss caring about such things as growing vegetables and sewing grocery bags and planning meals and restoring banged up furniture that no one else loves any more. I keep trying to “act as if,” thinking that maybe I can make the equation work the other way:  Maybe if I just start doing the stuff, the caring will return and the life will follow suit.

I don’t know if it’s the nature or the noticing or the nurturing or the caring … but whatever it is, I think it’s working, dear reader. All the worries, all the questions, all the fears … they’ve not been erased — they’re all still there — but somehow, in some barely perceptible way, they’re quieter … and I’m feeling just a little bit lighter.


9 thoughts on “Naturing

  1. Ah, I love this post, Marian. And not just because you’ve quoted me in it. 🙂 I love all the photos, and I love hearing that you are feeling lighter.

    I’m pleased to report that I am feeling lighter, too, and that I’ve found myself caring about homemaking again in a way that I haven’t for at least three years. I can look back now and see that I was first dealing with extreme crisis, and then I was grieving. Like you, it’s not all magically gone, but I can see and feel progress. It feels pretty good.


    1. Tech support (my husband) said I should not delete this (now essentially duplicate) comment (which initially went to spam) as the system will learn what is spam and what is not…I sure hope it does! Have a good day, Rita 🙂 .


  2. Love all these pictures. I’m so glad you are finding yourself a little more at ease/peace these days. I’ve been trying to focus more on “the moment” in part because we have a lot of really good things going on right now and I don’t want to miss them, but also because trying to control the uncontrollables has been making me a bit crazy and more than a bit cranky. I may have to steal your idea of naturing. So good hearing from you Marian. Gorgeous plant pictures.


    1. Thank you, Kate! I definitely need to take (and post) more pictures!

      I feel like the idea/practice of focusing on “the moment” is an integral piece of what this is really all about — simply slowing down to *actually* see and appreciate what’s around us, whether it’s our children or a tree or a flower. The older I get the more apparent it becomes: it’s the small things that matter, the small things that can somehow sustain us … even when (maybe ESPECIALLY when!) the outside world has seemingly lost its collective marbles.

      I’m very glad to hear that things are going well for you now 🙂 .


  3. I am having trouble leaving comments! I thought I posted twice earlier today, and now I see no comment. I’m sure it’s me. Dang.

    I can’t remember exactly what I said–something about how much I enjoyed this post and all your photos. And, that I am also feeling lighter and am rediscovering some joy in making home. I thought that might have left for good, and it’s been so nice to see that it didn’t. I’ve been realizing that I was grieving. It was necessary, but I’m glad to be shifting to a different state of being. I’m so glad you are, too. It’s nice to feel that season passing.


    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, Rita, and even MORE glad to hear that you’re ALSO feeling lighter and are rediscovering some joy in making home. This stage of life (children growing up and moving on; our shifting roles as mothers) has definitely not been an easy one…

      I am so very sorry you’re still having trouble with the comments — it’s SO frustrating, having taken the time to write a comment only to have it disappear! I don’t see anything of your two earlier attempts, but this third try (THANK YOU (!) for taking the time to make a third attempt!) obviously did make it through, although it was held up for moderation. When I look at your previous comments on this new wordpress site I can see that the web address and the email address you used are the same, but the numbers which follow (##.##.##.###) are different (I’m not sure why they would be, but that may explain why this comment was held for moderation?). I will double check all my settings, but hopefully now that this comment has been approved the system will recognise you.


      1. So one of your earlier attempts went to spam (for some reason I cannot fathom because the web address AND the email AND all the numbers were IDENTICAL to a previously approved comment!). Technology…(this Luddite is shaking her head and narrowing her eyes).


      2. Oh, who knows why things work or don’t? Appreciate you trying to figure it out for me! I’m not really a Luddite, but sometimes I long for the world as it was pre-internet.


      3. Hmm … well, this one was still held for moderation, but at least it didn’t go to spam … I may have to call that a win, because I have no clue why you’re being held up 😦 .
        Yes, it certainly was a simpler life back then, wasn’t it?


This thinker would love to know what you think ... thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s