Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wellness Activities: Gardening, Libraries, and Books

Tuesday nights are my botany class, and although I decided not to go last night (I like the people, but I don't like the way the class is being taught), I spent the evening reading gardening books, which is my new passion.

Yesterday I went to a public library I rarely visit, but they had a book on hillside gardening that I wanted to check out. And, I had such a wonderful time that I've decided to start trying new libraries just for fun. It's less expensive than going to bookstores, one of my favorite places. And, I love libraries. What's better than going to someplace with a ton of books on so many interesting topics, and being able to take home so many...for free.

One of the books I chose is The Illustrated Garden Book, an anthology of gardening columns by Vita Sackville-West. She was an English author and poet, and created the garden at her home in Sissinghurst, Kent. I had known about her since college, when I took some women's history courses.

What I love about this book is Sackville-West's writing style. She writes delectable personal essays about gardening and flowers. And, since this is the kind of writing I may wish to do, not only am I enjoying the book, but I'm learning a lot.

As I spent hours reading her marvelous essays and poems, my experience confirmed why I'd chosen to miss class. I'm taking these gardening classes to learn. But, at this stage in my life, I'm truly not interested in listening to people talk who don't inspire me. So...while I may have to rethink my participation in this certificated program, I've realized that my true goal is to continue finding teachers (like my first one) whose love of gardening makes my heart soar!

What wellness activities/hobbies makes your heart soar?

P.S. I don't mean to blow my own horn, but Wendy Love wrote a wonderful essay about my blog in hers, and it made my day!


Wendy Love said...

I love your term 'makes my heart soar'. There are times that those of us with depression wonder if our hearts will ever soar again! You give us all hope! The things which used to make my heart soar, don't anymore and I need to stop grieving that. Writing and grandchildren are the things which do it for me now. I am thankful for that.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Wendy,
When my depressions seemingly lasted forever, I, too, wondered if my heart would ever soar again.

But, when a depression ended, everything changed.

I hope that happens for you as well. You seem to have so much enthusiasm, joy, and love inside!


marja said...

Hi Susan,

I'm sorry I haven't been around. Guess I'm kind of selfish with my time now-a-days, but it's darn hard to do all the things I need to and love to do - to find time for it all and hold it all together.

I think it's wise of you not to "force" yourself to stay in a class when you're not finding it beneficial. Not at our age. We need to do what's most important to us and learning can be done in other ways. The important thing for you is that you learn how to garden and to write about it. Is the formal program really that important for you?

Glad you have such enthusiasm for this. Makes life wonderful, doesn't it?

Love, marja

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marja,
You're right. At some stage in our lives, we truly don't want to waste time. In this case, I think it's just a question of finding the right classes--even if there are only a few in the certificated program.

I'm going to talk to my teacher whom I loved and see what she recommends. And, then I'm going to pick and choose what I take at UCLA and elsewhere.

Thanks for your support on this. And, yes, it does make life wonderful.


Mary said...

I often wonder if my heart will ever soar again. I am fighting this awful depression again, and I don't like it, I'm have bad thoughts again and that's not good at all, I finally got a new poem written, as I have been away for quite awhile from blogging, just had surgery on my shoulder and still recouperating. take care..Mary

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Mary,
So glad to hear from you. I have great faith that your heart will soar again! It's always difficult to recuperate from surgery, and to fight depression at the same time! All my best!