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Of Journeys Circular & Odyssean

Of Journeys Circular & Odyssean
My garden, like a farm, is never done.
 
Each year, I pull back the same weeds from where the woods creep in and trim the wild grasses popping up among the ferns and bright yellow flowers along its borders. And, each year I create at least one thing new: a stream bed to draw runoff water away from the house; a boundary of lilies where a stone wall might once have been; a new pathway through the rock garden to spotlight a peony long buried in a sea of wild iris.

Some may find this an oddly circular pursuit. Why spend so many hours out of the short summer months pulling weeds and mowing the lawn when surely a gardener could do the same while I sat idly sipping lemonade and reading a book?

And yet, isn’t life composed of these very journeys? Circular ones, like making dinner every night or getting your child to the end of the driveway just seconds before the bus threatens to pull away? And Odyssean ones, like managing a chronic condition, raising a child or building a business?

The key, I believe, is in figuring out which kind of journey you’re in, and looking for ways to turn the circular ones into a new step forward. To be open enough in the moment that you can discover in the 100th tantrum of just this kind a hint of the greater truth that drives them all. To discern in one more upset stomach the food intolerance that drives them all.

Or to see one more cleared patch of weeds as the perfect place for a path, like life, from the tailored calm of the garden into the wild unknown of the woods.