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Spontaneous Overflow Reflecting in Tranquility

The Official Blog of Michael Schoenhofer, Executive Director

The Garden

So Much for So Little.

Today is a beautiful summer day. The grass is a vibrant green, the trees are in full leaf, and best of all our compost heap is thriving with grass cuttings and straw. We save vegetable peels, lemon rinds, and apple cores all winter, but when the grass hits the compost pile, that’s when everything heats up. I always look forward to compost season because the worms and little microbes do all the work for me. I can almost hear the worms singing as they munch through the delicious feast they find in the pile.

Let me explain why I love compost so much.

It always amazes me that heaping vegetable bits, weeds, grass, leaves, and some straw creates soil. What’s better is that all I have to do is stand back and watch the natural processes break everything down into rich, dark earth.

Then I move the newly created earth to my garden beds, plant some seeds, water them and wait. It’s not long before seedlings appear, and I enjoy kale, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and peppers. There’s so much food that I can share the bounty with my neighbors and a few colleagues from my working days.

All I need to do is to stand quietly aside and let it all happen. And for such little work, I enjoy a garden full of food, color, and beauty.

The past year has been a tough one for me, full of fear, worry and anxiousness. For others, it's been worse as they grieve over lost loved ones or recover from illness. A garden is a place where I can find peace, where I practice appreciation and collaboration in the wonder and magic of nature. There is something healing about being outside.

And I bring that peace back with me to my spouse, my children, and my friends. When I take these moments to let my peace flow out to others, my sense of peace increases.

Mike’s Compost Pile

Try a Walking Meditation

When we go for a walk, we often get so focused on getting our steps in or some cardio that we forget to look around and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

Try this!

Go outside for a walk, alone or with a pet – no cardio, no mileage, no earphones—just a casual saunter in the neighborhood or in a park. Stop to listen to the sounds or notice the trees and plants. Name what you see, hear, smell, and feel. You don't have to go out for long, maybe 15 minutes or more if you enjoy it. The goal is to wander and let nature heal you and bring you peace. Then extend this peaceful feeling to loved ones, friends, others. I think you’ll find your own inner peace growing.

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