“In the garden, the land is made better and so is the gardener. ” -Robert Rodale

A beautiful garden was already established when we arrived at the farm, but I’ve been spending a lot more time out there this past week. Thanks to the rain that comes every afternoon at this time of year, my herbs are flourishing right alongside the weeds. It’s a bit overwhelming to look out and see how much needs to be done each day, but also a pleasure to cook with things we’ve grown ourselves. This little reference book has been a helpful guide to getting started, but of course, the tropical climate in Hawaii is quite unique. I have much to learn!

The zinnias are coming up like mad. I love their riotous colors- fuschia, an orange that’s almost red, and a striking pale peach for surprise. They are stalky creatures, growing tall with big green hairy leaves that come in perfect pairs, like bunny ears. The tight green little buds are scalloped where the petals will unfurl and when they do, such colorful, vibrant faces! Impossible not to consider them perhaps the flower that laughs the loudest. They are straightforward, humble flowers, the kind that don’t mind growing in ditches or next to barns. There is nothing fussy or pretentious, just easy, sun-loving, happy little blooms.

This simplicity and straightforwardness are becoming more and more valuable to me. I’m cutting the zinnias right from the garden and putting them into any container I have at hand- a rinsed out pickle jar works just as well as a proper vase, and if the wind comes up from the ocean and sends it tumbling over, there is less upset when it smashes.

What I am trying to say is that I am worrying less about what my life looks like, and more about how it makes me feel. And less fuss leaves room for more of what matters to me.