I’m emptying my basement of everything in it. I figured it was getting to be a fairly expensive storage space, given what rents go for today. I hate that there is so much I’m throwing away but I also recognize that to repurpose, reuse, sell, or even donate all the items I no longer need would require additional time that I’d really rather spend doing other things – like gardening.
Although I may freecycle a few items (I’ve used it before for other things I let go of, and was fairly happy with its usability). I clutterbust somewhat regularly though. It’s a healthy purging, I find. Inevitably good things (note, not “stuff”) come from it. So usually I just set as much out in front of my house as I can, without using any space on the sidewalk. This can get tricky because there’s not a lot of excess real estate in Brooklyn, even down to front gate space. That’s why I love things I can hang on the fence, like hangers! At about midnight, I put a small store’s supply of various plastic and wooden hangers, no wire ones (yes, mommy dearest), and within minutes a neighbor appeared out of nowhere. As we started talking, she collected up the plastic hangers, stringing them across her arm. As it turns out, she is married to a gentleman down the street who has been very encouraging about my little garden plot, stopping by every so often to ask and admire. I’ve loaned him a wonderful little crazy rake I have that tills the ground in no time. Once again, I found myself talking with someone who I have lived near for more than ten years and had never met before. I hate to say this but I honestly don’t even remember seeing her before — I feel like I’ve been wearing blinders for a very long time now. Gardening is showing me that good things happen when you just put a little effort into it.
There is no question in my mind, as I sit here sweaty and spent, that gardening and all that goes with it is absolutely like raking through the things in life – concrete and otherwise – that bog you down. This has been a difficult process because my mind was trained to think I “need” more than I do. It is helpful though, too, as I’m thinking about what more I want to do (and, more importantly, not do) with my garden for the remainder of the summer, and am also feeling grateful that once this is done it will be one less thing to pull me away from my gardening.
QUESTION: Do you have to give something else up to make space for something new? Will you be adding or subtracting anything from your garden this season?