I go there to work out plot problems on my novels, talk to God when something's on my mind, get some distance when I'm seriously angry, and just revel in getting my hands in the dirt as I plant flowers. My meditation garden makes me happy.
Two weeks ago (and I can't believe another storm is coming this way...), this happened:
The fence will have to be replaced (it's got a good buckle), and one tree will have to be cut down (it's split in half and will die). I saw the devastation and it broke my heart. But I will have to wait until spring before I can repair it.
In the meantime, I am working on my middle grade manuscript. It started out like this:
Pristine. Loved. Ready to go out- to the critique group. I knew there would be changes, some of them tough to accept. Working in my garden, sometimes I have to dig up a dying or dead plant that I loved. I have to chop branches so trees are strong and healthy. I have to clear out leaves that clutter up and take the eyes away from the gentle green foliage. I have to make decisions which flowers will work well in the garden based on available sunlight, water, space, and hardiness.
Then the critiques from group members came in. Cut that sentence. This situation doesn't work. No one likes this character. The tension dies here. Chapter after chapter had been torn apart. No page had emerged unscathed. Beloved words would not survive. I pushed up my sleeves (really, I hate sleeves rubbing my elbows) and went to work. I sweated and (sometimes) swore, and used my tools (thesaurus, dictionary, research books, Google- and lots of chai lattes) to repair my manuscript. This is what my manuscript looks like after I finished.
But after pruning redundant words, digging out dead plot threads, combing through inconsistencies, I'm confident it will become ready to submit to editors and agents (it needs another read through, maybe ten). So while there's still snow on the ground, I'll work on the manuscript until it's finished. By then, spring will be in control and I can work on my garden (and meditate on a few choice words for Father Winter).
With the loss of one tree, more sunlight will fall on that space and I can add different flowers which couldn't tolerate the shade there previously. In my manuscript, the loss of words, phrases, pages, chapters- will allow me to add new things and improve it.
From devastation, something new.