This gardener, this yogi, has become unstuck in time. Billy-Pilgrim style, kind of.
This becomes clear in January/early February, the nadir of the gardening year. The ripening and withering, the spreading and the seeding, have all faded into memory. Books tell you “now’s the time to think about planning! And seeds!” But that’s a poor substitute for the heady rush of seeing life transform. It’s easy to feel meh.
This time of year is fertile in its own way, however, as yogis know after a stimulating class lands in savasana. Laying still is not horrific, even when you consider it is also called corpse pose. It is in fact sweet and precious, a time when, spent, you can finally get in touch with something beyond – beyond what to do, what to think, what comes next.
We are currently in a sort of nature savasana. Our gardening months, like our asanas/poses, distract and excite and tire, but in the end both this time and savasana give us a rare opportunity. You can reflect, sure, but more so you can connect with deeper truths. We are, after all, spinning on a ball in a freezing void we do not understand. Death is inevitable. You can forget that during all the planting and weeding, but it’s still out there. This time is our savasana, our Fortress of Solitude, like Superman’s. There, in the cold by ourselves, away from it all, we too can find deeper meaning.
Part of that meaning, for me, this year, is the beauty of the ephemeral garden. The plants aren’t in their glory now, but they will be. When I close my eyes I can see the daffodils, the lilies, the mums, all spinning round and round. We have a natural instinct to cling on to each time, to “have” it whenever we want it, but nothing worthwhile is own-able like that.
I am in early February, almost to the point of watching bulbs emerge. I am also watching the sunflowers in August and the autumn leaves in October. And why not? We are always changing in our bodies even as we careen through the universe in ways both predictable and not. You can’t keep the right-now, it slips through your fingers.
Later, we won’t have the indulgence of such thoughts. There will be beetles to fight and compost to pour. But at this moment, we are unstuck, and we in that we are also free.