Twelve days ago, I fell doing Greenbelt restoration work. I fell hard. The result: bruised ribs. When I first read today’s Daily Prompt: Grit, I took grit to mean the quality of doing whatever it takes to accomplish a goal, not letting any roadblock stand in the way. When I looked up the word in Wikipedia, I found this definition:
Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie within a gritty individual’s path to accomplishment, and serves as a driving force in achievement realization.
Since I fell, the amount of time I work in the Greenbelt has reduced dramatically, and what I do there has shifted. I may slowly place a few burlap bags over a cleared area; spend time laying out a design for a cluster of trees, shrubs and ground covers that will be planted the end of October; or I may wander around looking at the squirrels, birds and the occasional butterfly. Thankfully, I can still use my organizational abilities to lead work parties so the work is advancing; it just isn’t me holding the shovel.
Yesterday, I read that it takes bruised ribs 4-12 weeks to heal, and that the older you are, the longer it may take. I can tell that I am getting better. There is evidence of that daily. Healing just isn’t occurring on my preferred time table.
While I am frustrated by not being able to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, I know that I am being given lessons in patience and accepting what is. It doesn’t mean I have to stop advancing towards my goal, but it does mean that I can’t do the level of physical labor that I want to be doing. It is important for me to realize that developing patience and learning to accept what is are also lessons in my life’s curriculum and that those qualities are as important as grit in achieving my life goals.
I have grit, and I am learning behaviors that will support that grit.
Perhaps they are playing hide and seek, dashing from one place to the next!
Last week, I went to Amma’s programs in Chicago and Atlanta. I had been enjoying eating the strawberries from my garden for about two weeks beforehand. When I returned home, I was surprised to see there were still strawberries available, and ripe blueberries as well. In fact, there were more blueberries than there has ever been on that little bush. Together they made a perfect snack.
We have found many wheels during our Greenbelt restoration work. I am glad I took photos of some of them.
Here is the view standing on the first floor inside of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis hotel.
I took one of my favorite photos at Loon Lake in British Columbia in February of 2016. To me the lack of focus creates the illusion that the downed tree is spinning.
I’ve been so involved in the Greenbelt restoration work that I’ve given my front yard garden very little attention. I’m loving how Mother Nature filled in the gap and made it beautiful in her own way.
For the last few years I have planted five or six pansies in the garden. Occasionally one has come back after the winter. This year, though, pansies of all colors have sprung up throughout the garden. There are so many of them! It seems so strange since that has never happened before.
Many of the blooms are withering but the combination of colors are still beautiful.
I had an early bloom on one of the squash plants……..
…. but so far there isn’t any squash. The plants seem healthy but I haven’t seen both male and female blooms on any variety and I haven’t seen any bees. I will hand fertilize when that becomes possible.
The Lazy Susan plant and the Echinacea plants have buds. I look forward to seeing their flowers.
There is a seemingly endless supply of lemon balm and peppermint.
Thank you Mother Nature for all that you do for me, and for the world. You are a paragon of compassion and an artist that has no equal.
One part of our Greenbelt restoration site has so many ferns. I decided to read some articles about ferns and was fascinated by what I learned.
- Ferns have been on earth for 360 million years.
- The type of ferns we see now have been here for 45-50 million years.
- Dinosaurs ate ferns, conifers, cycads and mosses.
- Ferns were on earth 200 million years before flowers.
- Ferns are helpful in preventing or eliminating pollution because they remove heavy metals from the air and the soil.
- Today’s ferns are not edible because of toxicity. [Note: Maybe that is because of the heavy metal mentioned above.]
- Some ferns have a life span of 100 years.
- The height of ferns ranges from 2 inches to 30 feet.
- Compressed ferns turned into fossil fuel and became the basis for oil, gas and oil.
- Ferns reproduce from spores. They don’t have seeds or flowers.
- There are at least 12,000 types of ferns on earth today. There may be up to 20,000 different species.
- In North America there are 441 varieties of native ferns.
- Ferns are vascular, circulating water and nutrients through their veins.
- In the past, there were people who believed if they ate ferns they would become invisible. Still others believed ferns protected them against goblins and witches.
When I took this photo today, I imagined dinosaurs walking through this forest. Doing that reminded me of the Jurassic Park movies!
You can learn more about ferns from the articles below:
Fern Facts (Casa Flora)
Fern Facts (Soft Schools)
Five Fun Fern Facts
Daily Prompt: Taper
Yesterday I took on the challenge of removing bindweed (morning glory) and blackberry vines from a thimbleberry shrub.
The bindweed wraps itself around each stem, weighing it down and eventually killing it.
The thimbleberry leaves are beautiful. They have three to seven lobes and are soft and hairy.
I tried to unwind the bindweed from each thimbleberry stem carefully, but the leaves and stems are so fragile that I lost many of them in the process of trying to free them. The stems are now free from blackberry and bindweed vines but I’m going to have to get under the shrub and dig out the blackberry roots to keep it that way. We will probably have to deal with the bindweed every year.
It was fun to watch the stems straighten once they were relieved of the weight of the bindweed. The shrub still looks scraggly but it will fill in and return to the beauty it is meant to be.
The density of the bindweed made it hard to tell where the shrub began and ended. The area towards the back had a much thicker layer of bindweed.
As I started to cut it away, I realized that it wasn’t thumbleberry that was under it, it was a gigantic fern. With renewed energy, I started cutting away the bindweed. Before long, the fern was free!
I love doing this work. It is full of mystery and adventure and is so rewarding.
On May 13th, we had a work party that included 20 University of Washington students needing volunteer hours for an Introduction to Environmental Science class. A few days later, I discovered that one of them had left me a surprise. The student had placed this toy dinosaur near, but not in, a pile of Greenbelt trash. I’m not going to throw it away either.
At the time I found it, I washed it and waited for the pile of trash to be picked up. Today, I put it back where the student had left it. I hope it enjoys its new home. I’m imagining it experiencing a sense of freedom and triumph after having survived 30-40 years buried in the dirt.