He invites me with a wiggle of his hips and the come-hither look in his eyes. As I near him, he stops and gives a sharp sound of delight. “Welcome to my garden,” he says, “thank you for tending it for me.”
Russell Sprout was born feral and fostered as a young kitten before we adopted him at three months old, but he still loves being outside. We eventually found a safe way for him to be in the backyard, which was imperative for him. (Special adaptations to our wooden fence with Cat Fence-In does the trick. See the link*) We’re in a drought here, so I must hand-water my garden daily with local watering restrictions. Whenever I go in the backyard, Russell shows off his domain.
He finds the peace and serenity here that can be hard to find indoors. It’s a fairly small yard, with quite a few aspen trees, some grassy areas, and tiny garden. Potted plants here and there sit on the concrete patio. Russell looks around and tells me how important my work is in the yard. I spend so much time with intellectual pursuits that he wants me to spend more time enjoying my environment. When we get to the grape plants, he always gets a soft look in his eyes; he jumps into my arms for petting and purring. He’s in his element here, and wants me to enjoy it the way he does. He knows that I’m helping the plants, but even more, he knows that the plants are helping me.
I learn things in the garden. We pruned our apple tree this year, for the first time since we planted it ten years ago. I was afraid that if we pruned it, it would die rather than come back stronger – but I needn’t have worried. It came back very strongly and feels happier, somehow. There had been so much growth that it was moving in too many directions. This year, the pruning made it focus. We won’t have apples this year, because of the late snows and continued freezing weather into mid-May. There weren’t any apple blossoms, so we know there
won’t be fruit. But I can hope for next year, because the tree appears happier and healthier. It thrived with the focusing of its energy and the attention we paid. It’s almost as if it needed to know we cared.
I should examine my own projects. Are there some things that I need to trim? Some places where focus is needed? Are there some things that aren’t going to come to fruition this year, but might next year? I definitely think some pruning is in order, but which of my activities don’t serve me?
*No, this isn’t a sponsored message for Cat Fence-In; I just think this is so nifty I wanted to share. We’ve had our cat fence about 7 years, and Russell Sprout loves getting to go out. We love keeping him safely in the yard. Everyone’s happy with this product.