Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Workt in My Garden" Setting the Troubled Mind To Right

Writing for me is a 'must do'. I write to express what's in my head and heart and sometimes what's in there isn't wonderful. Sometimes what's in there is fears and worries and frustrations, troubled waters that I have no power to calm.

As a general rule I haven't shared much of the really yuck things of my life on this blog.Not that millions of people will be reading what I write--but 'just in case' I keep it close.

I do however talk sometimes to a friend, but mainly I talk to God, and I talk to my little parrots,who say nothing back but "Honey, hello Honey." Which seems sufficient for some odd reason.

I also garden or walk or do a bit of artwork or stitching. These things are my personal ways to deal with things, everyone needs some comforting, thought improving, heart lifting routine I think.

In an honest accounting of any woman's life there has to be pain I think, this is the world we live in, a fallen world. Every day we just put ourselves on track, getting on with it, as we wait for the 'New Heaven and the New Earth'

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." ~Revelation 21:1~4

What an amazing day that will be, but until then, we take our joy and comfort where we can.

I think sometimes I am comforted just by knowing others have felt the way I do in painful moments, others all through history and even now.

I often think of a favorite old book I have, "A Midwives Tale~The Diary of Martha Ballard". Martha wrote her original diary back in the 1700s in Maine.
She wrote short, variously spelled accounts of her days. Her days were filled with births and deaths, planting, weaving, cleaning, family and town events, and sometimes painful scenes, that left her with not much to do but appeal to her God.

"Feel very unwel and what a scean had I to go at Evening. May the good God support me."

"Son Jonathan was here this day. He spake very indecently to me. I pray God to forgive the offences of all who do ingure my feelings. May they Consider they may be old and receiv like Treatment.."

He [her son]Came in Just as we sett down to Table in a great passion... It overcame me so much I was not able to sett up. I Could wish he might see the folly and Evil of such Conduct and reform." ~ excerpts from Martha Ballard's Diary 1804

Her life was hard as a woman in a day when almost every chore was more physical and there were far fewer modern conveniences or comforts available. Like most of us, she was not in control of everything that happened in her family or town--but she did seem to have some areas that she could set right at least for a time. There she drew comfort.

There is one phrase in her diary, sometimes repeated, that always somehow comforts my heart.

"Workt in my garden."

Just reading that simple little bit often lightens my sighs. I imagine Martha digging in the dirt, putting in a young tree or some cabbages, pulling weeds, hauling water possibly in some old bucket, tending a row of something she has planted. As she Exhausts her body with chores she finds her mind eased. Her muscles work along with her sighing prayers to soothe her soul.

Gardeners, I think, sleep better than most folks.

Pokeberry Garden-- wherever it has been-- has been a 'constant' in my life, a gift from God I think. Even when I could not own my own home for these several years, I found a landlord that would allow me to garden. I had a little garden up in Fargo one year, and there I planted some things and watched the huge white jack rabbits in winter and the sparrows and blackbirds that came to my feeder. One awful year, when we left our home in Wisconsin, I sat in a drafty rented farm house kitchen and sipped coffee while I watched only sparrows--as they were the only birds who came all winter, they were very plain and very beautiful to me.

Working in the dirt, listening to the birds, watching little plants come up, sometimes being blessed to be still in a place long enough to watch them come up again the next year--bigger and with offspring! This has been a solace, a comfort and like my writing a cathartic, soul soothing thing.

Watching the lives of other creatures has also been a mind soother for me. Keeping an eye also on the creatures that inhabit my garden, like Junior the feral kitten, and the little Carolina Wrens nesting on my carport~patio, or the Mockingbirds in the holly, or even Stumpy the chipmunk, who is still popping up out of holes around here.

If you have got something like that in your life--I hope you will share what it is that does that for you. I'd love to read what other folks do when their minds are troubled.

How do you 'set things right' in your heart when you are in the midst of troubles? do you have a ritual or routine that soothes and comforts and gives hope for getting on with it?

I personally draw strength from God, from His Word, from my little work that I do, how about you?


  1. Reading the Scriptures does help a lot. I also remind myself that "this too shall pass."

    Life is a great cycle. Ins and outs. Ups and downs. Having and needing. Giving and accepting from others. Times of plenty and times of scarcity.

    Another exercise I try to do is to remember all that has been done for me. When I remember all the things and all the ways I have been upheld by our loving Heavenly Father - the friends He has sent me; the times money appears from nowhere - just in the nick of time; a helper when the car has broken down on the highway; etc...then I am able to be calm. I know that I can take the problem to the Lord in prayer and he will answer those prayers. Not always in a way I like, not always as soon as I'd like, but they are always answered. And in the end, I can always see where His way was better for me than MY way would have been.

    But sometimes I have to remind myself to REMEMBER these things and not to dwell on the adversity I'm presently going through.

    It is hard to know when pondering what I CAN do ends and worrying begins. I guess it ends with me thinking I don't know what else to do. At that point, I need to turn it over to Heavenly Father and let him work on the problem. Then do as one of my older friends tells me to do: "You've turned it over to Him, now don't take it back!". (That's the worrying part.)
    Sometimes, after a bit (a few minutes, a few hours, days, years..) I'll be inspired to know what else I need to do. But if nothing comes to me, then, since I handed it over to Him, it's his problem.

    hugs and HTH,

  2. Great points! Thank you for your response Darlene.

    I love the part about not taking back your concern--that is a biggy for me. I have to remind myself to remember that God is involved in things and will work them His way.

    I also like to look back and remember the way I've come, the things He has done and shown me over the years--and yes that is a very calming thing.

    Combining it all with working I think helps me keep my mind busy with my hands. :)