Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow.
– Author Unknown
A few years ago, on a sunny day in June, my friend Sherry dropped by for an unexpected visit and found me in my favourite place: my garden. As I glowed with pride, she commented on my perfectly manicured flower beds, and profusion of healthy shrubs and trees. “I don’t know how you manage it all!” she exclaimed. Then she had the misfortune of coming inside for a cup of coffee and the mystery was solved. While my flower beds were perfectly made, my beds inside were not. I couldn’t help but notice the look of shock on her face as a dust bunny the size of a tumble weed rolled across the hardwood floor in front of her. I could have sworn I heard the strain of old west music, and would not have been the least bit surprised had a cowboy popped out of the closet and challenged us to a shoot out. (I had seen stranger things fall out of that closet!) In my state of embarrassment, I made a vow to myself that never again would I be caught in this situation. I would ration my gardening hours to be used only as a reward for completing housework. That was working out pretty good; I could walk across my floor without sticking to it (most days), the kids had clean clothes to wear, and I rarely ran out of bread or milk. But then I got cancer.
Cancer gave me a great excuse to once again ignore the housework and hang out in my garden. This time however, it is totally legitimate. You see, I no longer garden for my own selfish pleasure, or even as a means of housework avoidance. Now gardening is therapeutic, and Horticultural Therapy happens to be a critical component to my recovery plan. So if you happen to drop by and find my house in a mess while I am happily puttering around in my garden, feel free to throw in a load of laundry. Hey, it’s no different than when I was on chemo!
Tip: Houswork can wait!