Mystery, Adventure and Reward

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.





Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward

This morning, I walked while chanting the Sri Lalita Sahasranama.  This is a sacred text that I ideally would be chanting daily.  As I walked, I was pulled by the desire to be focusing on the beauty around me rather than reciting the chant.  I have felt that pull many times before, but it was particularly strong today.

Then the question “Isn’t focusing on the beauty of Mother Nature a spiritual practice too?” came into my mind.  Of course it is; about that I had no doubt.  I realized what wanted to be doing was to immerse myself in nature, taking photographs to share on my blog and in the GreenFriends newsletter I organize monthly.

For the rest of my walk, I continued my chant, but if I felt called to stop and look at something and/or take a picture, I did.  Sometimes I felt literally “called” in that it seemed like a song bird or crow was calling out to me.

I felt “rewarded” for being flexible in my definition of spiritual practice by capturing several beautiful photographs.

I suspect that tomorrow morning I will be going on a nature walk!


Written for Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward