Sunday, April 01, 2012

It's No Use

This is my lawn mower which is quite well used.

We've just ended the first quarter of the year and today is the beginning of April, Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, an important period of the Christian calendar.

How often we hear this from well-intended relatives or friends when they see you doing things they consider unproductive? Sometimes I hear it from my inner voice too, especially when I am doing something that has very little chance of success, like weeding my garden. In the light of such discouragement it is easy to give up.

I just came in from weeding my planter box which seems to teem with weeds faster than I can get rid of them. On the surface it appear I am losing my battle and if I continue you can even say I am wasting my time. But what if wasting my time weeding actually help me in other aspects of my life?

Since I fell in 'love' with my garden 2 months ago when I decided to buy a lawn mower to upkeep it instead of paying a contractor to do the job I found my initial zeal waning after just a month. I was mowing the garden every weekend in the first month and painstakingly digging out the weeds until my fingers become sore. In the second month I decided to mow and fertilize fortnightly since the grass wasn't growing very much over a week (maybe it was my lazy self justifying my decision). In the recent weeks I actually observe the weeds growing faster than the grass. The fertilizer I feed the grass actually help the weeds to grow more vigorously that I resigned myself to accept an impure garden (I plan to reduce fertilizing frequency to monthly to 'starve' the weeds after the garden has reached uniform greenness). I accept I cannot have a perfect garden but nevertheless tries to build a better one than what I now have.

Each time I mow the garden I have to dispose of the grass clippings around the base of shrubs and trees outside my house to keep the tree roots cooler as well as give them another source of fertilizers. After a few rounds I ran out of space and decided to store them inside my garden to be used as a compost. It struck me that it will not only save me money buying artificial fertilizers I will also learn to create organic fertilizers and soil conditioner almost for free. And a chance to keep myself fit. I have the space. I have the brown leaves and twigs from my mango tree. I have fruit and vegetable waste from the kitchen. What I need is energy and determination. The task can be carried out leisurely, done outdoor and while I work I can think and reflect over my life. This project will start after my US and NZ trips.

Nothing in life can be said to produce complete fulfillment and nothing can be done to perfection. The process of trying often ends up in character building and strengthening our wisdom if only we are sensitive to notice the good it does. So even if the weeds continue to frustrate my efforts what will take place is the continuing effort to overcome them - in the process giving myself some physical workout, enjoying the outdoor air and sunlight as well as opportunities to commune with my soul and with God. And when my garden do get better and the flowers bloom more cheerfully they will add to my satisfaction that what I do is indeed of great use.

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