Spiritual Spring Cleaning

Every year as the weather becomes milder and the seasonal changes begin in the early spring, although I await with much anticipation to see the blossoming of all the greenery and flora around my modest home, I also have to consider the tasks of straightening up and clearing out of the overgrown plants and ivy in the yard out front, which was particularly robust this year. 

Left side of the yard was way out of control

Right side was astonishingly robust for having been cleared such a short time ago.

In order to mentally prepare for the difficult work of removing the overgrown ivy and honeysuckle, I took some time to photograph the many colorful blossoms as they appeared this year.  As usual, they did not disappoint.

The daffodils are normally the first to show, and the azaleas follow soon afterwards.

Once the season is well enough along, I take great pleasure in observing the fullness of the verdure out back, and when everything is eventually lush and green, it gives me such a lift to step out the back door and drink it all in.

This year, the sprouts from the tree stump out front were so large that the postal carrier, who normally parks right out front of our house, had to find another place to park.  As I stood out front surveying the scene, I knew I had to take action.

I even had to resort to the chainsaw this year to clear the flower bed!

Once I removed them, I turned my attention to the plants and ivy on either side of the door, and went to work.  It took me two whole days, one day per side, to remove the overgrowth, and it took all my strength to sustain the effort long enough to make sufficient headway.

All the while, as I set myself to the daunting task of clearing out the robust greenery, I felt a kind of inner rhythm helping me to keep going, even when it seemed too difficult for my body to maintain the momentum needed to succeed in my efforts.

I generally take no pleasure in removing anything green and living from the earth in which it appears, and while it seemed necessary to bring these conditions under better control, I was initially reluctant to do so, and wondered a bit about what benefit might actually result.

A very short time after completing the bulk of the work, I was delighted to see the rhododendrons and the hydrangea suddenly bursting forth, no longer under the canopy of overgrown greenery.

The benefit to my spirit in realizing how much better the blossoming plants were able to show, was well worth the exhausting struggle it took to liberate them.  Even the roses seemed to appear with gratitude for finally getting the sun they needed to pop out from their buds.

A well-deserved quiet evening by the fire after completing the task.

My work on the landscape outside of me, gave the spirit within me quite a boost, and for a brief time, pointed toward the benefit of clearing out that which blocks the inner light also.  This spiritual spring cleaning was just what I needed to stir my heart and soul to gratitude and satisfaction in my corner of the world this year.

4 thoughts on “Spiritual Spring Cleaning

    1. I was wondering if anyone would notice…lol Whenever I have to do difficult work, I generally still put on one of those shirts. It reminds me to be grateful that I no longer have to wear it in the blender! The shirt itself doesn’t help as much as the benefit I received from working with you all those years. I figure if I could get through THAT, then the bushes and shrubs around the house wouldn’t be so tough to get through!

      Hope this post gave you a smile or two…Johnny H.

  1. “a kind of inner rhythm”
    How lovely, and what a valuable feeling to have. Nature, peace, silence, beauty. All of which could heal the world, if we would only allow it.

    1. I have to admit I was a bit surprised that working in the yard was so satisfying this year. I’ve always tried to make it less of a chore by approaching it with a positive attitude, but this feeling of connection to an “inner rhythm” seemed to propel me through the daunting tasks in a way that was unlike other years. My reluctance to chop away at anything green has always been present, and even though I understand that there are benefits to pruning and tending to the overgrowth, it wasn’t until I saw the blossoming of the plants hidden beneath what I chopped away that I began to appreciate that I was actually helping.

      Your invocation of those four elements, “nature, peace, silence, and beauty,” were each present at some point during the work, and you have inspired me to explore them in an upcoming blog post! I agree that the world could use a greater emphasis on each of these elements, and hopefully I will be able to create something useful in this regard. I very much appreciate your thoughtful response…John H.

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