When my ADD has me running in circles, trying to find the beginning or the end or even a middle, there is nothing quite so grounding – literally – than getting out to my garden and thrusting my fingers into the sun-warmed soil. This week, it’s time to plant fall crops – broccoli and cauliflower.

Those precious little transplant leaves, quivering with possibility, ready to flourish with only a small push from me….pretty heady stuff for a farmer’s-daughter-turned organic-gardener like me.

And still I procrastinate about doing the very thing that nourishes my soul – not to mention my body. I tell myself I don’t have time, that I need to be working at the computer, that gardening takes too much of my precious time right now.

But I own a garden retreat – I am REQUIRED to have a sleek and tidy garden. Oops. That’s the wrong approach for me. Adding guilt to the garden is a sure way to turn me around, running for the safety of my office again.

No, I need a gentler encouragement. A few ripe tomatoes popped into my mouth, still warm from the vine. The tender buds of green peppers basking in the summer sun. Green beans cowering beneath floating row cover – protection from those rude crows who peck the new shoots from the ground mistaking them for juicy worms.

It’s not really the organic veggies that put a smile in my heart, though. I garden for my connection to the Earth in all its composted glory.

Honestly, I can’t think of a more intoxicating smell than that of potting soil doused with the dense humidity of a greenhouse. A close second is my own compost pile (when turned regularly; otherwise, it’s more like garbage!). So I head to the garden gate, the potting sheds and the 23 pairs of garden gloves that wait patiently for me.

Autumn brings a different texture to my gardening. A tearing out of the old, worn out tomato vines, turning the soil, replenishing the nutrients and then a replanting with new vigorous plants.

The process parallels my own need for renewal and renourishment. My weedy mind gets cleaned up and reconditioned. And pretty darned soon, I’m perking along like myself again.

Gotta garden. First thing in the morning. Promise. I PROMISE.