Monday, April 23, 2012

Passion, Beauty and "Mulch" Happiness

Passion, Beauty and “Mulch” Happiness

After last week’s blog, I desperately needed to make a “feel good” post this week. In my life, when events are planned without adequate consideration for the needs of all people, it affects my ability to participate. When my participation is infringed upon, it obviously infuriates me. Instead of becoming consumed with anger, I try to turn things around whenever possible by providing suggestions on how to improve and provide an environment that is more conducive for full inclusion. I know that others will benefit from this, and, hopefully, the event organizers will listen to my advice.

I’m fortunate enough now to be in a relationship where my partner doesn’t expect me to sit quiet and ignore being treated less than first class. He seems to understand how things affect me. Compassion is a good thing. I fully understand that there will be times and situations in my life where help will be absolutely necessary. There is still a lot left to be seen and explored.

Events occur in our lives that are never forgotten. In my life, there have been many. Years ago, I will never forget wheeling down a Boston Street and two guys walked by me, and said to one another, “Did you see her?” and “She was pretty too!” At that point I simply wanted to say, “Pretty people break their necks too!” As I’ve grown older, I’ve become less inhibited. I’m not afraid to tell people how I feel. I’ve finally realized that I might as well say what’s on my mind because I have one of those faces that you can tell every emotion anyway.

When I commit to something, I commit wholeheartedly. I know that I’m sometimes slow, but I persevere. Recently, a friend commented that they wouldn’t want to be on my opposing side. True, I imagine. In all honestly, I hate conflict. If there is a problem, I’ll try to fix it. I do not like feeling angry. People need to go beyond themselves to learn and appreciate what is really important in life. Sometimes, it is necessary to step back and take a few deep breaths! It’s not about you.

My garden never ceases to amaze me. I put the same passion into my garden as I do with everything else in my life. My garden is a constant source of inspiration. It looks absolutely beautiful when freshly covered in hardwood mulch. For a brief period of time, the weeds are all under control. When every day stress seems insurmountable, I focus on the beauty of a flower. I mentally find myself zooming in on these “feel good” flowers.

My garden is an expression of myself. Chances are, if you don’t like my garden, you probably won’t like me either. I recently had a reader comment that they were envious of my neighbors. A few appreciate it, but not all do. In my neighborhood, we’re so close together, that we seem to purposely distance ourselves. I knew more people around me when I lived on 6 acres in a small New England town. I guess, though, I know the ones that matter.

Gardening has been a source of new friendship. There is a certain bond between people who get excited by a bloom, and who would rather be out shopping for plants than for clothing or shoes. My real friends aren’t afraid to ask, “How does a gimpy quad like you spread mulch?” As witnessed this past weekend, I became a rolling wheelbarrow. I carried it by the bucket load, bucket by bucket full! There is no argument about me doing my share of the work.

As gorgeous as a single isolated bloom can be, people with disabilities don’t usually want to be singled out. When I go to a concert, I do not want to be corralled together with other people with disabilities. Blending in without unnecessary attention is important to living our lives as independently as possible. As barriers come down, this will be easier to achieve. Everyone should be appreciated for their uniqueness, but unless they are a standup comedian, or a “Push Girl” do not put them at center stage.

As unpredictable as our weather has been, expect the same reaction when you offer assistance to anyone with a disability. I went fifteen years without push handles on the back of my chair. I only have them now because I travel to off road places where I know beforehand that I’m going to need help. I will ask for help when I need it. As a gardener, I’ve discovered that my push handles are beneficial for helping me out of a rut when I occasionally get stuck, and they are also great for carrying my favorite small shovel.


  1. You go girl and someday we need to talk about corraling. Is that a word? Been there.. done that.. or I should say.. Been there.. have had it done to me. Don't like it.! Will I ever get used to it? Not sure...

  2. You go girl! I hate being corralled also. Keep up your gorgeous gardens. You will certainly never be called a wimp!

  3. Hate corralling too! Don't even think of taking my wheelchair away if I transfer to a seat either. Very demoralizing. At my son's high school graduation, I had to sit separately from my family. err!