A guest at my home, during the course of a recent, memorable dinner of kebabs, beer and philosophy, recalled the Rules for Happiness. The quote, credited to the eminent 18th century German philosopher Immanuel Kant, lists three simple precepts for a happier life:
Something to do,
Someone to love,
Something to hope for.
Pottering around amongst my plants the next day, these words floated into memory. There’s something about farming, or gardening, that stills the soul and creates space for reflection. Not as an intentional analysis, nor even as a conscious introspection, but as a naturally unwinding rumination. As one trims dead leaves, uproots weeds, plants seed, and trains young creepers to go places, the mind ebbs and flows gently over conversations, ideas, and dreams. In the reflection, and in the doing, is happiness for many a grower, as she nurtures life in her hands, and holds hope of a healthy plant in every seed she sows.
One of my favorite plants to grow is turmeric/haldi. It’s wholesome, hardy, lush and downright gorgeous. Here are some pix that capture the great promise and energy of the turmeric plant.
A few weeks after the bulb is planted it emerges as a strong,slender shoot…
…within days it proudly unfolds its first perfect leaf unto the world…
Perhaps Immanuel Kant was a gardener or farmer too. And perhaps many of his ideas sprung from moments of reflection when he knelt down and patiently worked the earth. But that is speculation getting the better of me….and for now I must go – to trim, weed, grow and train. There are so many things to do in my garden, and so much to look forward to. And I am happy 🙂
Until the next time, happy and hopeful gardening!
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