One thing that always makes me happy is being out in nature. I love nature. I love trees, flowers, and the feeling of walking barefoot in the grass. I spend a lot of time outside every day. I love doing yoga outside. I love to meditate outside. Sometimes I even shower outside. What I am trying to say is, that I lock myself out of the house a lot.
I love being outside. In the mornings, I take a cup of coffee out to my pond, plop myself down on the dock and do what one is supposed to do by a pond – I ponder.
I ponder all sorts of things. I ponder life and our infinite universe and how lucky we are to find ourselves surrounded by incredible forces of nature every day. And then I ponder other stuff like how do mermaids always seem to find seashells big enough to wear as bras? Whenever I go to the beach the biggest shell I can find in one piece is the size of an M&M. I will still make it into a bra, but it’s very, very tiny.
I ponder that expression “You are a big fish in a small pond”. Do fish in a pond know that expression? Do they swim around and try to make the smaller fish feel bad because they are so small? Or do the small fish know the expression “Good things come in small packages”? Maybe they swim around knowing that even though they are small they have a lot to offer, like being cute and shiny.
I can sit and stare into my pond for hours and hours admiring the stunning reflections of the sky and the clouds and the birds. We have so many different kinds of birds near the house. They are always chirping away, and I imagine them saying things like, “Oh, Daniela…. yup, she is so connected to nature. That is so rare to see in a human.” “Yeah, she seems so laid-back and cool. Look at her sitting on that dock drinking her coffee,” I imagine another bird saying. And then the first bird chirps back, ” I bet it would be so fun to hang out with her. She reminds me so much of me when I was younger. Such a nut, but so sweet.” And while they go back and forth saying the nicest things about me – I mean, it’s just so humbling – I start to think about what it would be like to fly around with them all day long, looking at our Earth from way up above, circling and gliding through the air with complete freedom. Sometimes I get so lost in the moment, that I start running around my yard, flapping my arms like a seagull at the beach. A lot of times I will even start to squawk. Usually right around the third or fourth squawk is when my neighbours start screaming at me to pipe down. They are always like, “Quiet down, lady! And put on some pants!” And I am always like, “YOU put on some pants!” because in the heat of the moment I panic and I cannot think of anything better to say. Of course, he is already wearing pants, so it doesn’t pack quite the punch I want it to, but the bottom line is he is clearly not as connected to nature as I am.
When I am not pondering by my pond, I am outside gardening in my garden. I love to garden. I find it very therapeutic. Actually, I treat it just like therapy. I talk to my plants about what is going on in my life, about my dreams and aspirations, my fears, my regrets, and how frustrated I get when someone suddenly stops at the bottom of an escalator without realising there is a whole line of people piling up behind them. I find it very to talk to my plants about pretty much everything. And the best part is, instead of having a therapist who wants two hundred and fifty euros an hour, my plants only charge me sixty.
I just read that gardening is the number one thing to do in Europe. Well, I just wrote it anyway. Who knows if it is true! What I do know is that gardening is awesome. I have a lot of hobbies, but there’s something about gardening that is different. I think it is because gardening is a hobby you can eat. You plant some seeds, you water some soil, and in just a few short months, you have got yourself enough tomatoes to make a tiny salad.
There aren’t a lot of hobbies you can eat. Like, let’s say you love to cook. That’s a bad example. Let’s say you love to travel, and everywhere you go, you try the food at the best local restaurant. Ok, this is getting weird now.
My point is, I love gardening as a hobby. Right now in my garden, I am growing tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, basil, and a whole assortment of herbs. It smells nice, it looks nice, and I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to be able to host a dinner party and offer my guests the literal fruits of my labour. As it turns out, these are very different from the fruits of one’s loins. At a dinner party, I asked someone how she was enjoying the fruits of my loins and she nearly choked on her food.
If you don’t have a garden, I encourage you to plant one. It is a fun thing to do and it is great for the planet. And you know what I always say, time and time again – if you want to add a little spice to your life, plant some dill. And learn to dance salsa.