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Friday, May 3, 2013

Spiritual spring cleaning - And World's Naked Gardening Day!

What it should look like after a good spring cleaning... and a few more weeks of warm weather.
Oh, how I love to see some green in the backyard! Nova Scotia, 2012.

Did you know? This Saturday's the World Naked Gardening Day! Don't believe me? Google it! And careful if you click on Images!!!

As private as our backyard is, I don't think I will "join in the fun". We do, however, have a few spring cleaning projects.

In addition to tangible, physical cleaning work, I like to perform some more symbolic cleaning periodically. Here are a few ways I go after this.

Reorganizing my thoughts (on this blog among other things)

Attentive readers will notice a difference on my blog lately: in the past few days, I went through the painstaking task of removing all images that were not mine/possibly copyrighted.

I thought "If you're gonna clean up, might as well start with a clean blog".

It was sad, to get rid of all those great pictures that enlivened my posts, but they were not mine, and I'm not a stealer.

Now the blog has lost part of its colorful, Disney-like aspect, and seems a little bit austere.

I will gradually replace those images with some that do belong to me (or to a member of my immediate family). If you look at the April posts, most of them have a photo or drawing taken/done by one of us.

For the rest of the blog, I'll re-illustrate it in my spare time.

If you have photos or art you wouldn't mind sharing for free, please let me know (in writing) and send them along: I will happily feature them in any appropriate post. This blog could become a "budding artist's work showcase"! Young or old, send it in, and I will credit you based on your instructions.

Green picture by a green artist! A, 6 years old, 2012.

As I was browsing the blog it became very apparent that there is a handful of recurrent themes in here. I couldn't help but think "There is a book in this blog. I can totally sense it. Not quite in the right form and format yet, but it's there." In the past I have submitted articles to published magazines (some of which have been accepted - my first one was about shyness and was published in a teenager magazine when I was only 15!) In the future I will try and organize the best parts of the blog to that purpose - publication. After all, writing has become an addiction (I tested myself in April, and see how much I produced! A friend called me "blogging machine" and told me she couldn't keep up anymore.) I might as well try and make it a lucrative addiction!

Re-engineering my pleasure pathways

Tonight we drove R to her Girl Guide camp. As I'm not a leader with her unit I did not get to stay, but I did get tho spend a few minutes while we helped her get installed, and I couldn't help but notice - again! - the stunning beauty of the natural setting. The tall pine trees and oaks, the sun slowly making its descent over the lake. I wish I could have pretended I was still a Brownie.

(Actually, I once did. Last year as we were selling cookies from door to door, a car slowed down, the driver rolled down his window and asked me if I he could buy cookies. The girls already being busy with another customer, I said to him "I can sell you a box for sure. I hope you don't mind I'm not as cute as the little girls, though." Then, thinking about it I added "Oh, wait a minute" and I bent my knees to make myself smaller as if I was actually 7-8 years old. Of course I also made a cute face. "Is that better?", I asked, handing him a box. He said "Oh, don't you worry. You're cute all right", with a wink. He then proceeded to buy not one, not two, but three boxes! Totally made my day.)

So, anyways... On the way back from this beautiful camp I let my eyes linger on the surrounding scenery, the sun catching the trees sideways, the occasional glimpses of the ocean. As it usually happens in my blissful moments, I felt warmth and a slight, pleasant pressure in my solar plexus (or Manipura chakra for insiders). Nothing else was happening but me noticing the beauty of that instant of eternity, and it felt better than anything else I know. I became aware of my slow, deep breathing (no, I wasn't falling asleep at the wheel, don't you worry! D was driving, actually.) I was fully awake, in a state of relaxed vigilance (similar to that brought about by meditation, except my eyes were opened), feeling the profound happiness that merely being alive can provide. When this happens I welcome and enjoy the gift, a moment of pure joy.

Springtime look of our slate trail in the 'hood.

Replenishing my spiritual awareness

This moment of bliss, of communion with my environment, sent me right back to a comment a fellow blogger, Crabby McSlacker, at http://www.crankyfitness.com/, recently made on another blog I follow. On the topic of existential dread, she said: "I used to be the Queen of existential dread myself, but getting older helps. Fewer critical-thinking brain cells leaves me more open to the notion of some sort of post-death universal consciousness".

My critical-thinking brain cells might have been shrinking precociously, because as far as I'm concerned, we don't even have to wait after death to experience this universal consciousness. It is already here, right now. That is... if there is a here and now. What if everything is an illusion, like in Plato's Allegory of the Cave? (or like in the Matrix movie, for that matter!!!)

When I feel bliss, or pure joy, thanks to nature or music or an uncanny connection with another being, I get a glimpse of this universal interconnectedness. There lives ultimate compassion, and there, the ego melts a little bit (never a bad thing!) It's a peaceful state in which one does not feel threatened: only accepting and serene. I will try and go back to that state more often.

As a clean conclusion

Now if I could tackle the cleaning of my French doors, it wouldn't be a luxury! Between the kids' finger prints and the puppy's tongue prints, you can barely see through the windowpanes anymore!

And to finish on a lighter note, since I like to share fun findings, here are the contents of a graffiti shared by a friend who saw it at Monument Valley during a recent vacation: "Laura, [or any other name that fits for you], I wish I'd fuc*ed you when I had the chance."

Words of wisdom for sure! No room for regrets in this short life of ours!

And you, what kind of cleaning or gardening are you planning to do? More importantly, what will you be wearing (or not wearing)? ;-)

Now back to my smooth jazz and warm fire... in the living room (nights are still cold!)

The "other side" of the spring: potential encounters of the third type.
Not that I wouldn't want to caress those soft ears... the hedonist in me... but I know better.


  1. Hi Julie! I'm not quite up to the lawn care yet. It's still pretty cold and I like the warmer shorts weather for it. Naked gardening--so funny as long as I don't have to see anyone do that!!!:D

    :-) Marion

    1. Hi Marion!

      It's 15 degrees Celsius here today, and my neighbor mowed his lawn yesterday. Smells good!

      We once had another neighbor who loved doing her yoga naked in the morning... she couldn't NOT know that she was visible from our backyard!!! LOL

  2. Several years ago I made friends with a guy in the area who worked as a chimney sweep. One day he told me that he would run at night in the summer naked!

    He had won a local marathon with a time of 2:40 so it was hard to argue with his ability, lol!

    1. At that speed nobody would even be able to see anything, LOL!

      And, if I had to choose I'd rather swim naked than run naked, hahah!