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In recent years, Black Friday has come to mean a lot more to me than shopping! Although there are good shopping deals available, I found myself wanting to just be in my little garden on Black Friday. It was there that I accidentally found moments of calm after the storm of preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday which left me often feeling exhausted (yet thankful for family).  This unintentional tradition of gardening on Black Friday began a few years ago when I started turning down shopping trips with my girls in exchange for a quiet moment at home (can you relate?) and found myself wandering out to my very small garden the day after Thanksgiving with no time constraints or schedule!

As I head to the garden, the cold air always feels so refreshing after being indoors in the hot kitchen cooking for days, but I’m always excited to find things that are still growing (I do not “clean out the garden” as suggested by experts).  As I started pulling out plants that had died, I quietly give thanks to the garden for the joy and happiness it brought me throughout the year (especially this year).  This year’s highlights were watching my cone flower that grew so tall and was a glowing pink you can hardly imagine and another highlight this year was finding a new raspberry each day (and eating it right away) from an old raspberry bush growing next to my air conditioner! How could one berry bring so much joy!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is raspberries-in-hand.jpg

During my time in the garden, I also found time to take a few deep breaths and slow my thoughts down and begin to notice what I am (mindfully) seeing …sometimes it is piece of mint still growing or a funky bug crawling in the dirt. It is amazing what our senses do when we slow down and just notice life

And finally, if I find a plant or two that is still green, I dig it up and bring it inside with me to grow for the winter…because plants heal!   Plants offer many benefits to us indoors. They heal and promote good health, and provide so many wonderful benefits to us, so why not bring a few indoors this winter!

And so, as you go about your Thanksgiving weekend during this very crazy, mixed up year, maybe you will also find yourself outside somewhere… noticing life… taking breaths …and finding joy in the garden.

Shari

Author:  Shari Gallup, Family and Consumer Science Educator and Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Ohio State University Extension, Licking County. gallup.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Beth Stefura, Family and Consumer Science Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Stefura.2@osu.edu

Sources:

  1. The Trust for Public Land.  7 Ways Nature Nurtures Us.  https://www.tpl.org/blog/7-ways-nature-nurtures-us
  2. National Initiative for consumer Horticulture. Plants Do That.Where We Heal. Info-graphic.  https://consumerhort.org/nich-releases-plantsdothat-inside-infographic-3-where-we-heal/

3. Learning to Keep Calm Info-graphic. Ohio State University Extension.  https://go.osu.edu/keepcalm

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