top of page

a time for clearing out

It was time.

My town has designated this week as yard waste pick-up. If I manage to get my leaf bags and bins to the curb by Monday morning, they will come pick them up, saving me the added work of packing all that debris into my car and hauling it to the dump myself. I appreciate that. So, I collect several bags of cuttings I’d already started earlier in the fall and bring them streetside. I turn to my front garden and finally clip the frozen remains of summer’s brightly colored lantanas along with the fragrant stalks of sage that I used to think was lavender.

I’ve gotten that garden down to a pretty good year-round system that all but takes care of itself now. In fact, I really haven’t given it too much thinking or planning for some time now. Daffodils come up, followed by peonies. I plant petunias and lantana in the middle and coleus at the edges on either side of the sage. But lately, I feel the need to make some changes since other things around the garden have changed. I have a notion to remove the sage that has grown so big, leaning over the garden wall and blocking the sidewalk in late summer. I might replace it with grasses, but I haven’t decided yet if I want to do that or when – now or spring. I have time to think about it before the ground freezes. I could add some different bulbs to the ones I have depended on for years to bloom in spring. There’s more shade now from the Japanese maple on one side. Growing stiffness in my legs. My gardening guru and partner gone. In any case, for now, it’s cleared out so next weekend I’ll mulch and let it sink into its winter rest. I feel lighter looking at it and considering what I can change. It feels good. I actually believe that the garden is relieved, too, and grateful for the rest.

I cleared out my email this afternoon. There were thousands. It took a little time but I did it methodically, searching for all emails from this news source, that store I shop at all the time, this podcaster and that one. I realized that, like my garden, there’s a sameness to my content. I’ve gotten into a rut with what comes in that I barely read a headline and move on without deleting. I certainly haven’t unsubscribed.

Are you seeing the same theme that I am?

Clearing things out is a good practice. It gives us some breathing space; a chance to pause and rethink our forward motion. Give away clothes and books that you no longer use. Furniture. Stuff. It’s all just stuff, anyway. Not all of it. Be selective. But noticing that our habits of living – and thinking and being – can actually be oppressive is freeing.

Breathe in that feeling, that lightness, that freshness.

Rest. Imagine.

It’s time.

11/13/23 © 2023


bottom of page