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I previously lamented my nostalgia for the north: how I missed the blooms of spring and the seasonal changes of things further from the equator. Life is such a funny thing—a strange change of circumstance caused us to unexpectedly re-settle further north and west in a matter of mere weeks.

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This is the little bit of earth I have to work with, and so I’ve given my gardening attempt a couple hours each day this week.

This new place, our temporary home while we search for something more permanent, also affords me the support of wonderful family, the treasures of living in a smaller town that I so sorely missed, and a small patch of land to work up a garden this summer.

What perfect timing, too! Mid-to-late May is about prime planting time around here. My very kind sister-in-law will likely be able to bring their tiller by next weekend so I can work up the patch I’ve roughly outlined (approximately 7’ by 14’ feet), and I’ve started most of my seeds in containers so as not to lose any time. While my seeds germinate and sprout, I’ll be working up my brand-new plot and attempting to get a decent mix of soil going. If you are new to gardening–or coming to it years after growing up with gardens but not really knowing a whole lot beyond “well, Mom made me pull weeds…” I recommend you check out this for some super basic, but helpful, information.

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The first day I got this little tiny bit turned over, plus the entire outline of the whole plot, before some rain hit.

Life is so strange… It takes us where we are afraid to go, and where we would never expect to go. But yet, once we are there, it is obviously the perfect place to be. And so it is, a long and difficult journey leading us to—well, we may not quite know even yet—but it really has become about the process.

More and more, I look at my artistic and green-thumb endeavors, and marvel at what my family and I have been through. All of it together makes me realize the great thing of this universe we live in. Chaotic order, or whatever you care to call it… it is beautiful.

In all this, though, there is a deeper call to quietness. I think we forget, in the hubbub of survival and searching for security, the most simple of things: our families, our friends, and the love we have for the things we hold dear.

So during this extremely hard and trying time that is also absolutely amazing, I am making every effort to live each day better than the day before. I am determined to live with intention. All my actions, all my words, all my creative endeavors ultimately require intention. Without it, my soul or whatever you’d like to call it, is a bit topsy-turvy, running off-kilter in a world that has also, I think, largely lost its intention.

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The Helper Dog. Once things are planted, she’ll be disappointed that I no longer welcome her digging. For now, she is the greatest contributor to the compost pit.

I think many of us have strange happenings that bring us to a moment of reckoning or revelation. When these things bring about huge change, a new (or better) habit, or wonderful new tradition, it is exciting. I love hearing from others the ways the world has altered the tiny things to completely transform the bigger things—so feel free to share your story in the comments, too.

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