I love this image of an American Red Cross nurse knitting during World War I — amazing to think this photo is almost one hundred years old! For the past year and a bit, we have been listening to the BBC Radio 4 drama Home Front, which follows the lives of many characters in real time through the first world war. Although fictionalized, the story lines were adapted from actual accounts and newspaper articles. Many of us today are fortunate to not have lived through such times; this program relates how war seeps into every crevice of life, even for those at home, “safe.” Worth a listen, especially today as we take time to remember those men and women who sacrificed so much for us and their countries.
Thanks to abundant rain followed by daily doses of sunshine and superwarm temperatures, this week our surroundings transformed into a lush green paradise virtually overnight. The garden is thriving as well, and as I plant I daydream of that first tomato sandwich, the fresh peas straight from the pod, corn on the cob, ahhhhh! Summer may not be here yet officially, but it’s what we’re thinking about this week. 🙂
When the weather cooperates these days, we are busy outside planting but also weeding. This season of spring is one of rebirth, but thinning out and removing what is no longer beneficial to us is also necessary to ensure growth — both literally and metaphorically. Of course, what constitutes a weed may not always be easily agreed upon. Indeed, I have a friend who is an expert forager who enjoys many a plant that I would pull up and discard. And where James sees a weed, I often see a pretty blossom.
While I pass spring hours in the garden removing unwanted plants that are robbing nutrients from the earth and space in our garden plots, I have much time for contemplation. And often I find myself thinking about what also needs to be pruned from my own inner garden and life. Recently James and I were reminiscing about life before mobile devices and how we peacefully spent our weekend days, nostalgic for coffee shops with actual books and newspapers and no wifi.
So when I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s post this past week about implementing a digital sabbath, I was intrigued — and game to join in. And so as the sun sets this Saturday evening, I will switch off the devices, the social media, and enjoy the quiet disconnect from the digital world for 24 hours. Like Elizabeth, I am grateful in many ways for living in this technical age. But I also understand the need to sometimes switch off and prune away some time without the impossible to avoid distractions that mobile devices have become.
And so, I sign off for now, with a steaming mug and a pile of neglected books by my side, already satisfied by all the weeding I’ve done today — outside and indoors equally. 🙂