Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v16n24)
Right in my Own Backyard by Brandt Carter - Back to Basics
posted: Dec. 06, 2019
Back to Basics
"Stop the world, I want to get off" is a familiar expression that lots of us have uttered in this past year. This has been a year of extremes as well as being hurried and harried for days, weeks, or even months. Sometimes the best antidote is just to get back to basics.
For me, reconnecting with basics can be as simple as walk in my backyard, where I shut the world out and take a few moments to meditate on life. Here I can experience nature without having to go anywhere. It is mine - at least while I own it. I can find solitude in my trees, my plants, my birds, my bugs, my grass. I know my boundaries here.
Many of life's basics are present in my backyard, and the changes are slow. I can see when the snow falls, the same tree remains, the grasses wave above the icy covering. The rabbits leave their prints. The squirrels come to clean up under the feeders. The birds visit daily and predictably empty my feeders. These signs remind me that the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening. The constancy of my backyard anchors me so I can go out my front door and face the world.
My dogs are as much a part of my backyard as the birds and squirrels. They probably spend half their lives in the yard. When we first moved to our house, we had a young dog named Bear. He fancied wandering the neighborhood in search of treats. So we fenced, but the benefit lasted only one day. Next came a taller fence, and then a larger fenced area for the dogs to call their "back 40." Through the years the backyard has been the home of nine service puppies in training, three family dogs, and two cats. We have paths in the yard, we have holes, and we have discarded toys - all are defining elements. To be sure, the backyard with its dogs and other critters may be one of the best retreats no matter what time of year. Take the time to enjoy your built-in sanctuary.