Sunday, June 12, 2011

Nature's Finest Message

Is there anything better than feeling good?  I mean, really good?  Not just happy, but good.  Good inside.  Happiness.  Contentment.  Oh, sure, life throws us curves all the time, and some people get more than their fair share of the curves than others (and I am fortunate to say that life has been easy on me in the let's-throw-her-a-curve department).  But what leads to contentment?  I would say, besides a low amount of outside stresses, good health is at the top of my answers to that question.  When I am feeling healthy, contentment is most often its companion.  Nothing feels better to me....nothing....than good health and feeling happy. 

I'm sure that if I gathered 100 people in a room, all of us might define quality-of-life differently.  Because quality-of-life is a relative perception.  My aunt, at 81 yrs old, ended up in the hospital with some significant health issues that could lead to her demise a little earlier than 'planned' if she didn't change some of her habits.  "You need to stop drinking alcohol and smoking!"  her doctor told her.  She laughed at him.  And then told him he was fired.  Naturally we were all worried about her.  She needs to stop these habits, we all mused, having not acknowledged the real message behind her protest.  How could we stop her, we continued?  To me, the habits were disgusting.  For her, alcohol and smoking added to her quality of life.  She enjoyed them.  Who were we to try to redefine her definition of 'quality-of-life'?

Feeling healthy and happy defines the pinnacle of quality-of-life for me.  To eat healthfully supports that definition so I go to everychanging lengths to do what I perceive allows me to attain that measure.  First and upbeat, positive attitude....a real one.  Secondly, good, clean food that was raised consciously and with thought to its consumer.  Thirdly, exercise, movement.  I cannot live to my fullest without all three.

For the past 30 years I have gardened.  Having lived in the same area all that time I jokingly say with all the times I have moved from house to house I have likely moved more cow poop from place to place than anyone in the county.  All in search of health.  Needless to say, in spite of all that cow poop moving, it is only this year that I feel that I am starting to achieve what I would call 'a successful garden'.  Good soil, rotating crops, replanting throughout a season, and full, bountiful beds of lush greens, squashes, herbs, and worms wiggling around consuming all the buried compost (as long as they manage to avoid the ravenous mole that hunts them nightly as of late!).

When I walk out into my garden and see those beautiful greens I feel like I hear nature say, "I am here for you.  As long as you care for me, I will care for you.  You will flourish as I will flourish."  For me, there is no finer song to hear.  I know there are lots of you out there who feel exactly the way I do.  You love the smell of dirt, the earthy flavor of a garden's bounty, the soil under your fingernails that has to wear off because it won't wash off.  Aaaahhh!  Bounty.  Nature's finest message.

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