Monday, April 13, 2015

Reclaiming Inspiration and Joy

Columbines from Catherine Castle's garden ©
I recently started a new gardening blog thread on my website called A Writer’s Garden—Through the Garden Gates with…  The purpose of this blog series is to connect writer/gardeners with new readers, who happen to like gardening as well as reading. There are about 13 of us who have committed to write posts, and as gardening season opens I must admit that I’m excited to see what everyone brings to the blog.



I’ve been a gardener for most of my life and a lover of gardens for as long as I could say, “Pretty flowers.” I love flowers. I can spend hours perusing a seed catalogue, lost in dreams of putting most everything between the pages in my garden. I love gardens of any size. A well-designed flowerpot will make me stop and take a photograph. I even love weeding—at least I like the results of a clean, newly weeded flower bed.


But love isn’t a word that I have used a lot recently when referencing my garden. I still think of myself as a gardener, but, for the past couple of years, I’d rather view someone else’s neatly weeded flowerbeds than work in mine. Bad knees, side effects from meds that make me weak, fighting hornets, wasps, and getting into a chigger patch last year, have created lots of places in my garden that have gone unattended, unweeded, and unmulched.  Had it not been for the efforts of my hubby, who worked beside me last year, nothing would have been done in the garden. Quite frankly, keeping up with the chores had become a job. Most of the season, I was wishing for winter so I could stop gardening.


Now, for the first time in several years instead of seeing my garden as a stretch of endless chores I’m viewing it like I used to. Renewed inspiration, thanks to the gardening blog, has me anticipating yanking out those weeds, which I will have to do without my husband’s forced labor this year. I’ve got him working on something else. Instead of dreading the chores, I’m planning which section to attack next, deciding what I want to put in my vegetable bed, which perennials I’m dividing, and how I’m reworking the beds. I’m rethinking my gardening strategy, and my garden, to better fit the needs of my aging knees. I’m also looking for gardening tidbits to write about on the blog. I’ve even started my gardening log again, which had fallen by the wayside when my husband retired a few years ago.


 It’s funny how we humans forget so easily. We let the here and now, the tyranny of the urgent, our lazy natures, our human frailties, and every other obstacle that comes our way stop us from enjoying life to the fullest.  Instead of finding inspiration around us, sometimes all we see are problems, chores, and endless frustration.  


This spring as I go into gardening season, I’m going to claim Revelations 21:7 as my garden mantra —“He that overcometh shall inherit all things.” I will conquer negativity. I will reclaim the pleasure I lost in doing garden chores. I will sit on the deck after a job well done, and revel in my backyard patch of Eden. I will reclaim inspiration and joy from nature, which God has gifted us.


The little cares that fretted me,

I lost them yesterday,

Among the fields above the sea,

Among the winds at play, . . .

Among the hushing of the corn,

Where drowsy poppies nod,

Where ill thoughts die and good are born,

Out in the fields of God.

—Anonymous: Out in the Fields


What about you? Is there inspiration and joy in your life that you need to reclaim? “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.” (Proverbs 13:19) Don’t wait to rediscover what you’ve lost. Find a way to take it back today.



Catherine Castle is not only an award-winning author, she is an award-winning gardener. You can see her gardens and read about her book, The Nun and the Narc, at her website.


Don’t forget to leave a comment to get your name in this week’s drawing for James R. Callhan's book Cleansed by Fire.    Be sure to check the Weekly Windup for the winners.


  1. I do enjoy other's gardens. My flower bed is 4x4 :) just enough for me.. Enjoyed reading today's post...

    1. Sometimes I wish all I had was a 4x4 bed, but when I've downsized I've found myself wishing for that big garden again. Seems I can't win. :-)

  2. My flower garden is two rose bushes on my patio at my apartment. So far I have managed to keep them alive which is quite a feat for me. Enjoyed your post.

    1. I love roses. I'm planning on putting in a few more knockout roses. They are so hardy, and they smell wonderful.