Picture a backyard on a steep slope covered with blackberry bushes as far as the eye can see, throw in three grumpy teenagers and their mother, you have our backyard.
Seizing up on the realization that I have a very limited time frame with free labor in the house, my summer project is for once and for all deal with our yard full of blackberry bushes (my daughter says I say this every year). While ideally I’d love to have the importer of said Himalayan blackberry bushes over to clean up our yard, the next best thing is family.
Yes, there are easier ways to remove bramble, but hiring help would involve money (currently earmarked for removing DS’ wisdom teeth). Chemicals are not an option as we have a small pond, and my first priority is to protect any life that exists in it…even if the dogs may have already eaten said life as they seem to have their heads in the pond every day.
So here we are, clippers and compost bags in hand (why Himalayan blackberries are compostable is a mystery to me…we are the reason I never accept our hometown’s yearly offering of free dirt from our city’s compost…do I really want to import all those blackberries back?!).
That aside, there is something therapeutic about tackling blackberries with hand clippers. It has the same effect on me as hanging laundry or doing dishes…takes me to a place of mindfulness which I find soothing in a twisted way. Relegating the whining to the background, I notice and rescue all the little creatures that show up in our efforts especially ladybugs. Blackberry is quick to remind when you are not mindful as evidenced by the many scratches on my arms and pricks to my well-gloved bands, and as we climb higher up our hill, the view is just amazing putting me more into a state of Zen.
So if you’re in need of some therapeutic activity, I’m going to trademark a new mindfulness routine called Himalayan mindfulness…gardening in a mindful way. You achieve Zen…I get my backyard back. Win-win.