Saturday, July 27, 2013

Simply The Best Day

The entrance to Bobcat Garden, beautifully embellished
Sometimes the best days unexpectedly emerge from the simplest of plans.  I was reminded of that fact earlier this week when our daughter and I volunteered in the garden at her elementary school.  The garden, of course, needs tending over the summer, so there’s an open invitation to lend a hand during a couple weekly time frames.  On Tuesday, we joined a small group composed of two other adults, one slightly older little girl and “Mrs. Garden” (as she is fondly called by the students.)  Our time in the garden was productive, yet also peaceful and immensely enjoyable.  Our daughter harvested broccoli and planted sunflower seeds, while I plucked the dead heads from the calendula plants and yellow leaves from the broccoli plants and also sowed seeds.  All the while, we were encouraged by “Mrs. Garden” to sample some of the fresh, organic produce.  We nibbled with much pleasure!  We were also encouraged to simply explore the garden and delight in its beauty. 

We gratefully (and excitedly!) returned home with tasty ingredients to assemble into dinner that evening – broccoli, kale, chard, mizuna, purslane, cherry tomatoes, strawberries and calendula blossoms.  We also brought home peaches (appreciated by my husband and daughter, but alas, even after trying a “test” bite, my taste buds remained averse!)  
Inspiration for our dinner
I wish my taste buds appreciated the flavor of the peaches
as much as my nose appreciated their sweet scent...sigh
My husband was away on a camping trip, so I welcomed the opportunity for an easy meal here at home.  As our daughter and I savored our flavorful “Bobcat Garden” salads, we chatted about how much we enjoyed our time in the garden and our resulting bounty and how we appreciated the smaller turnout which made for a quiet and relaxing afternoon (in contrast to more boisterous class visits to the garden during the school year.)

Since our blissful day in Bobcat Garden, I’ve been reflecting on its many rewards beyond its delectable fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible and ornamental flowers…

       Physical activity, meditative, yet energizing

Creative inspiration (the girls were inspired to decorate a wreath on the garden  gate, creating a colorful floral work of art;  meanwhile, I’m feeling inspired to return with my camera and capture some of the beautiful colors, shapes and textures of the different plants)
Healthful benefits for both body and mind

Contribution to a worthy endeavor

Mindfulness and an appreciation for nature

Connection and the tremendous value of sharing meaningful moments with our daughter
Amidst milestones, momentous occasions and vacation travels, sometimes the best days are the simplest ones without any elaborate planning, the ones that unfold in their own wonderful way.

Our "Bobcat Garden" salad lightly dressed with olive oil & balsamic vinegar
Lovely creativity

Have you discovered some of your best moments emerging from simplicity?