It's what I do sometimes to be truly present. I dig in the soil, turn it over, plant something and dig again. The terrain is altered - improved for drainage, made more visually satisfying. I get lost in the physicality of digging - sun scorching my arms and sweat dripping down. It is hard to be mentally stressed when my body is physically exhausted.
We're reclaiming some of the lawn along the lake in our backyard. Adding trees, flowering plants, rocks and mulch. It is a much slower process than in prior years, when my back was strong and resilient. Sometimes I can work only a five foot stretch before I have to call it quits.
Yesterday I unearthed a large rock (not quite a boulder) and got help to drag it to the surface and place it amongst the plants. It is covered in fossils and old shells. Not uncommon here in Florida, but still a delightful surprise treasure for me. The hidden past brought into the light and exposed for the first time in decades. It will sit there nestled in the lantana until some time in the distant future when weeds will cover it, soil will accumulate around it and the earth will swallow it once more. I felt the vastness of time, the smallness of humans in the universe, and the cycle of the earth over centuries. Whoa. All that from digging in the yard.
Which brings me to penguins. What better way to mentally chill than to immerse oneself in the frosty world of tuxedoed birds and snow? Norbert loves mystery novels and intellectual conversation. Quite a change from the usual menagerie in the studio.