A few days ago I followed my husband, Rod, to the garden. While he watered and pulled weeds, I hauled my lawn chair into a small center clearing, propped my feet up on one of the raised bed frames and leisurely enjoyed my morning coffee.

I must admit that we have a killer garden and Rod does 100% of the work. I’m so lucky he loves gardening because he grows a rich bounty of fruits and vegetables. Gardening has never been my thing. But I enjoy the harvesting and consuming part of the whole process. Thanks to Rod, we have already enjoyed plenty of delicious zucchini, radishes, tomatoes, snow peas, Japanese eggplant, three kinds of cucumber and apricots and peaches.

That morning after Rod got done with his upkeep of the garden, I remained behind by myself to finish my coffee and just hang out. And boy am I glad I did. I discovered a valuable commodity that didn’t come from any seed pack or seedling.

Spending time just hanging out in a garden brought me peace and tranquility.
It was calm, early morning cool, and bees were just beginning their day’s work, a low buzz signaling the morning’s progression. I had brought a book to read but quickly put it aside and closed my eyes. It felt meditative; I could practically hear the photosynthesis that was taking place! (Ok, that’s probably an exaggeration!)

If there was stress in my life, spending time quietly in the gloriousness of the garden brought me a new appreciation of the power of nature to calm and soothe. 

I’m here to say if you have a garden, try hanging out and letting it work its magic on you. It’s nice to have a reason to wear sunglasses that doesn’t involve avoiding the glare from some electronic device.

Well, that’s fine and dandy, but what if I don’t have a garden?

Borrow one. Bring your camp chair, a bottle of fresh squeezed lemonade or water and a book (preferably paper but digital works too) and spend time in and amongst the flowers or veggies and fruit of someone else’s garden. I’ll bet it won’t be five minutes before you discard your reading material in favor of idly watching the bees and other insects doing their thing.

No garden to borrow?

At the very least you can spend time in a nursery or publically owned botanical garden. I’m not sure how they’d feel about you camping out there with a drink and a book, but you could try!

Once there, slow down, stop and feel the sun on your body. Smell the dirt. Connecting with nature is so relaxing and it doesn’t cost anything!

You can’t get this experience in front of your computer or with your head down hovering over your smart phone.
Your body is a powerful device in enhancing the quality of your life. It’s not always about using your mind to think or your mouth to speak. Given the opportunity, your body will tell your brain it’s happy to do something different, to sit in stillness and drink in all that nature brings.

Let the secret of spending time in the garden feed your soul. Then, share your experiences with others!

These days, usually early in the morning, you’ll find me with my cup of coffee and a book in the middle of the garden in a comfortable chair. I’m in heaven!

Contact Antonia at Antonia@TheJoyofAgingGratefully.com