Heaven Scent

by Lori Dwyer on November 7, 2011 · 16 comments

I adore my garden. It feeds my soul.

I know, most regular RRSAHM voyeurs are already aware of this. I seem to have written about gardening more and more, since deciding to put Plan B into action and move myself and the kids to Paradise.

But it’s a rediscovered joy, a pleasure I’m relearning. And the garden here in the TinyTrainHouse is so gorgeous.

It’s soothing, and calming, not even always to work and scrape gritty dirt underneath my fingernails, but simply to wander in the greenery; often, ashamedly, cigarette in hand… pausing to tease strand-like roots of newly shot weeds from my veggie patch. Breathing in the heaven scent of jasmine and lilies, eucalypt and climbing violets, clay soil soaked with fresh rain fall. Absorbing almost by osmosis the calm and open peacefulness, appreciating the supine thrum of the very slowest, steadiest rhythm ever known or felt- the growth of plants, the stretching of membranes and waters into leaves and buds.

The umbilical heartbeat of the Earth.

Plain and lovely daisies

In my garden, I find myself in state that’s rare and complicit for me… able to make plans for the future, grand as I wish, without being crippled by the anxiety of achieving them, of not being able to work fast enough, of not having enough hands to be as productive as I wish to be.

Anxiety bred of excitement, rather than apprehension steeped in worry and insecurity or dragging guilt. In my mind they are almost as common as one another.

White azaleas…

But in my backyard, in my little patch of land, I am able to harness the daydreams and structures my mind weaves and creeps on it’s own latticework into someday-maybe-oneday-projects, things that will get done in their own sweet time.

There are seedlings to sprout, corn and sweet basil to simmer spaghetti sauces. Leaves to be raked, sticks to be picked up. (“Put the stick down, Chop. We do not play with sticks”). Unruly new spring growth that needs to be cut back and untangled from an arbor that is reaching to tendril through my clothesline; pretty climbing vines dripping with purple flowers, the weight of which causes my old wooden fence to lean and lag and inch itself closer and closer to horizontal.

I have plans for a pair of laying chooks; for climbing beans and snapdragons in a rainbow of colours. I also the proud owner of a tiny, oddly shaped front yard which, although quite pretty by any horticultural standard I kept in my Purple Life, seems barren and disorganised in comparison to the planned but overflowing lushness of my macarthur park backyard… and I have plans to fix that.

But all these dot points on my mental list of Things That Should Be Done are floating, unstructured pencil plans, worked within a rough time frame of ‘sometime soon’ and laced with only the tiniest urgency, driven by the anticipation of pleasure and satisfaction more than any driving need to prove myself, any desperate urge to keep busy.

Oriental lanterns…

It feels as if this garden is a lesson for me, a kinetic tutorial from the universe. That compliant, steady hum of the world, the lubdub of growing things… it is, quite literally, an impossibility to rush things, to hurry the earth along. I cannot force my flowers to fruit… I cannot make the sky cease raining on my freshly planted seeds, washing away my hard work.

But as long as there is soil there, no one can stop me sowing them all over again. It just may be a matter of waiting until the season is right… seedlings lingering curled in the dark, holding out for the sun to shine again.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen November 8, 2011 at 4:52 am

I'm sorry my computer is doing weird deleting stuff …(has been for a while!)

I meant: We all need that, I lost mine but I think it might become painting….etc.


Karen November 8, 2011 at 4:50 am

A balm to your heart…we all need that, but I think it might become painting. I enjoy it more and more and quiets my mind. :)


Melissa November 7, 2011 at 10:39 pm

What a beautiful, beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your garden with us :)


Kristen Doran November 8, 2011 at 6:43 am

I've only just begun to love my garden. And the lessons you can learn. One little gem it taught me a few weeks ago: to grow big and beautiful sometimes the pruning has to be very harsh. Love your ramblings. Thanks so much for being so open.


Anonymous November 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm

You and your garden. This is the happiest you've sounded for a long time, Lori.
Peace at last. Almost.

PS Don't go hating on Paul. He may use a lot of words, but there is quite a bit of common sense in there. Or maybe only to'us oldies'?
Love to you,
Mrs. C


Anonymous November 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm

It was my Gran, who taught me to love gardening. She had a huge compost heap, with lots of fat lizards and geckos, all feasting off the flies and insects around it, and I'd sit and watch them for hours. Her garden would herald the start of each new season with something new and lovely in bloom, that I grew to love it, in my times spent at her house. She took me to the bonsai society, and so I learned that craft, and she'd watch patiently, while I'd potter around, with my miniature trees.
Such peace, tranquility and soul food…..a garden. I still love it so much, and spend time there whenever I can.
Good on you, Lori, that you're taking time to charge your soul-batteries there.

– Mouse


Kristen November 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm

So… leaving some Love is exactly what I'm doing. I love this post. I find myself crippled by fear sometimes. (I'm out to write about that this week) … and I don't garden – but you make me want to. To put my hands in the dirt and will the ground to take care of what I place there. *sigh* to find pleasure in the possibilities – not fear in the unknown. It is all about a new thought.

Thanks for the new thought.


Susan November 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I envy your garden starting to grow when here in Canada its all starting to sleep.

Keep at the planting, even with the rain some of the seeds you are sowing that seem to wash away will find a place to grow. Sometimes in wild unexpected places that you never expected :)

Hugs, Suzie


Lydia La La November 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

Dear, dear Lori… I've often seen your blog name on other blogs I regularly read but today, I decided to click on SAHM.

I was a stay at home Mum and it was a pretty boring lifestyle for me so not attracted to the name.

Boy, was I so wrong in prejudging your blog! I came on line to check mail and my fave blogs…… an hour and many tears later, I am so…… hell, I can't even think of the words that describe how I feel about the horror that has engulfed you and his family. Nothing I have ever experienced comes any where close to the shit that has been handed out to you. I have learnt through your blog, and I haven't read all of it yet: that nothing is sacred. Look in the shed, in their private drawers, check their phone out, their computer use, etc. No need to let anyone know but it will keep us in their loop… maybe. By the way, I don't practice what I just preached!!!
I would imagine that the legal, financial and family matters are an ongoing issue.
If only some beautiful person could come in every day and say" You have 1 hour! GO… Sleep or shop or whatever you want. I'm minding the kids." Any way, may there be peace within your soul.


Something Gorgeous November 7, 2011 at 11:45 am

I have only just discovered your blog and loved reading about your gorgeous garden.
We are now your newest followers Pop over to our blog if you have time, you will be very welcome.x


Lynda Halliger-Otvos November 7, 2011 at 11:40 am

Serenity, beauty, calm, peaceful, green, purple, pink, red, white, orange, yellow, sanity… sounds like it all is there for you and the kids to grow with. Peace be yours, Lori.


Miss Pink November 7, 2011 at 11:20 am

It sounds pretty gorgeous.
I planted some plants last week. They're all dead now! Ugh, damn me and my black thumb.


Steph(anie) November 7, 2011 at 10:25 am



Sarah November 7, 2011 at 9:58 am

I know this is totally irrelevant, but my youngest brother was banned from playing with sticks when he was little. When he was next caught stockpiling them he declared them to be wood, not sticks, and therefore fair game.

Your description of you in your garden makes me feel peaceful.


Anonymous November 7, 2011 at 9:07 am

Sounds like it's your new Ocean, Lori. xx Julia


jacqui November 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Those flowers are gorgeous! I can see why your garden would be a soothing place for you to dream your dreams.


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