Soot Sprites, Blackberries, Illnesses

The garden was finished about a month ago. I have been outside more in that brief time than I had perhaps the two years previous, entire.

I walk the place every morning, making sure the blackberries understand they're no longer welcome here. I'm finding fewer and fewer attempts to recolonize, so perhaps they're getting the message. (I'm not slacking, though. I Am Become Death, Slayer of Blackberries.)

Today, I hung out my first load of laundry in I'm not even sure how long. It was tiring. I'm still getting my strength back after last year. But it felt good. I love my clothesline.

And it occurred to me as I surveyed the area behind the clothesline, where the blackberries first took hold, that brambles don't grow where people are. If you're IN the garden, using it, living in it, the blackberries can't take hold. They're like the soot sprites in My Neighbor Totoro; they don't like inhabited spaces. They're not welcome and they know it.

And a further thought came to me. Illness is like a blackberry or a soot sprite, too. If the body is inhabited--really lived in--illness is not welcome there, either.

That doesn't mean you can't get ill if you're truly inhabiting your body. Some sicknesses just happen. My heart condition might very well have happened no matter how well-treated my body was; it's congenital. We'll never know.

But the better I treat myself, body and soul, the less ill I feel. Possibly the less ill I am. It's hard to say. Right now, though, inhabiting both my body and my garden seems like the smartest thing I've done in many years.

Me, with marigolds

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