Tag Archives: Gardens

Starting from Scratch

Recently, I met a good friend at the Sebastiani Winery in Sonoma for a picnic lunch.  As we sat down to eat, with the sun warming our skin, he handed me gifts from his garden: a bag of Meyer lemons and tasty citrus tangerines.  The lemons had their natural zest; the tangerines their pungent smell.  This  fresh fruit came from the fertile grounds he and his wife cultivated and grew from scratch. 

My friend shared aspects of his life, about his first home (a tear down) here in Sonoma in which he had to rebuild  from the ground up–from scratch, if you will.  I marveled at this undertaking, the blood, sweat and tears of years of hard work, but even more, at the finished product–a cozy Sonoma bungalow with a wrap around porch, garden, pool and Bocci court. 

One way or another, each and every day, whether it be the writing of a new blog or development of a story,  the making of a fine wine, the teachings of a child, the being there for a friend, the planting of seeds for the garden come spring, the trying of a new recipe, or the watching of the rising sun, falling moon, I look at each day as a life-start from scratch.  It’s a simple approach I know, and found it allows room for forgiveness for daily goofs, god-awful mistakes, unexpected regressions, but ensures new growth and new beginnings.  In this way, I live in the simple present, having less.

It was Jamie Lee Curtis who said in The Huffington Post Guide to Blogging, “I think we as a species are on a suicidal course, wanting more, having more, feeding ourselves and our children on ephemeral pleasures and poisons.”  

I’m far from being out of the woods in terms of simplifying life, my things, my obligations and interests.  It’s taking years to want less, own less, have less, but slowly, I am ridding myself of possessions I don’t need and letting go of what holds me back.  It’s a work in progress. 

I joke with my friends, that one day, all I’ll want is a cotton spool and a bare room to spool in like Gandhi, but in reality, my home in Sonoma surrounded by the simple things: child-like laughter, wine, silence, food and water, tree and flower blooms, birds and books, walks and talks, love, poetry and prayer will do just fine on my porch where I have two seats waiting for you and me. 

After I said good-bye to my lunch pal, he texted me later, offering up a carton of fresh eggs from chickens who feed off his  grounds from scratch.  Ain’t that a lot like life!