Last weekend, fate directed that Michelle and I drive out to Quinault Lake on the Olympic Peninsula. The Norns, those three spinners who, in the Norse tradition, spin the threads of our lives had woven for us a twist of fate. It was an unexpected journey, which is often the best kind. It was such a lovely spring weekend, and to experience it away from the hustle and bustle of the city was extraordinary. Thoreau said in Walden “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Being in the woods, in the ultimate garden…an old growth forest, is one of my favorite places to be in the whole world. The air is so fresh, and as we sat at one point just soaking in the sights, sounds and smells, we discussed how good and healthy it is to be out hiking. I imagined that each deep breath was cleansing and purifying my body and mind. We have a plan this summer to get out into the woods often, hiking, fishing, and simply enjoying nature.
I think gardening fulfills that need people have to connect to nature. Getting our hands dirty tilling the soil and planting, watering and nurturing living plants is a therapeutic, spiritual experience, even if it’s done entirely indoors, which for some is all they have. Plants calm us and help reduce stress. Studies have shown the levels of serotonin and dopamine, two hormones produced in our bodies that help make us feel good, rise when we are gardening. The same happens when we care for our houseplants. It’s no wonder garden center buyers always seem high when I stop for a visit! Just kidding…
Perhaps these are reasons why people in horticultural careers or simply gardeners in general seem so kind and for the most part, happy. The only way, as far as I can see to be happier is to be a gardener who also likes fishing, or a fisherman who likes to garden. Of course, if you want to be the ULTIMATE purveyor of happiness to your customers, it’s essential that you sell Little Prince plants! That adorable crowned frog on our tags works better than any drug to raise people’s serotonin levels, and the joy they’ll experience watching the healthy plants grow in their gardens or homes will be priceless. They’ll keep coming back over and on over and over. Customers are good, happy customers are way better, and plant addicts…well they are THE BEST, bless their souls!
Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts, and don’t fret when it rains again. Spring is here, and we know we’ll have a few rain showers, right? We really do need the rain to recharge our aquifers, so that there’s plenty of water available to water plants this summer. Right now, the goal should be to keep your benches full of Little Prince plants. Remember that we don’t have an unlimited supply of everything, and that the early bird does often get the worm. Have a great week!