Last week one of my kitties, Delilah, passed away somewhat unexpectedly. She and I had been together for sixteen years, so losing her absolutely devastated me. I was just gutted (and I still am).
I am still processing and grieving, and I really haven’t had the heart to do much of anything besides the basics. I’m doing my regular routine (swimming, book-work and writing for deadlines, house stuff, hanging out with family and my pets, spending lots of time at the cat shelter) but not much else.
But the one thing I have been doing is gardening. A lot of gardening.
The day Delilah passed, I came home from the animal hospital, took a long swim, and then spend the rest of the afternoon gardening. Part of it was because I didn’t want to go back into the house. Part of it was that I needed to get out of my own head, and when I am really working in the garden, I find it hard to do much more than focus on what I am working on.
It was an incredibly emotional and therapeutic experience. I cried as I tore through old roots and made space for new growth. It was kind of a reflection of life itself.
And as I hacked away at the unruly nasturtium, pruned the tomatoes, trimmed the geranium and the basil, and repotted pretty much *anything* that’s not thriving, I felt as if were imposing some sort of order on the universe, which feels as if it’s turned on its head.
I’ve been doing a lot of gardening almost every day since. I normally garden in the mornings before I swim, but lately I have been doing it after I swim. I’m just not ready to go back in and pick up with the day, so it’s been nice to go out in the sunshine and tend to the plants. I garden until I get sort of exhausted (but in a good way), and then I feel as if I can finally go inside and get on with my day. It makes me feel like I have purpose.
And it’s also been nice to see the little changes that are happening as spring progresses- despite the fact that things feel kinda empty right now, the flowers still bloom, the plants still grow. There’s always something new to see out there, and it gives me hope.