Filling Up for the New Year

The past year has been filled with explorations of new places, new relationships and new ways of being in the world. While I was wandering the pathway between the Sugi Garden and outside locales, my faithful husband and son were digging deeply into the hard, clay soil of our sideyard. This sideyard has been a conundrum for us in all the years we’ve lived here. After getting rid of the grass that was there when we moved in, we’ve tried planting flowers and vegetables and just leaving it alone to do what it wants. Our little fountain, happy roses and delightful daffodils have kept it company and not much else.

Spring fountain

Spring fountain

Finally, Ofer was inspired to dig a deep pond. At first, I thought it would be a moderate pond, with lots of room for   planting around it. But, as Ofer and Yo’el began digging, the months passed by and the hole kept getting deeper. The little fountain was moved to a wading pool as a temporary measure. So far, it is being kept to provide a place for the lovely little creatures that keep the water clean. I suppose, it will find it’s way into the bigger pond in time.

The old watering system was removed, the roots from the nearby trees were cut out. And still, it wanted to go deeper. It seemed like the project would never find a stopping place. My patience was being tested. I like things to happen quickly and wasn’t clear when it would be done. Until…there was a moment of truth and the pond was deep enough to hold fish. I guess that was the idea from the start. Don’t ask me why there is an island in the middle. It was just what Ofer felt should be there.

Ready pond

Ready pond

We decided to surround the pond with flat rocks we have around the property. And made plans to buy a liner so we could fill it up. Then, the order came down through the government that with the California drought we couldn’t fill the pond with hose water. Lucky us, we already had a gray water hose in place from the kitchen sink. A new arrangement was made to lead the duct for the roof water to also drain into the holding box for the gray water and we were ready for rain! We collected some barrels to be used for collecting from the other ducts, but haven’t managed to hook them up properly yet.

And then the waiting began in earnest. It’s an interesting process to create an opening and wait for it to be filled. The tendency, for many of us, is to look desperately around to fill any void that occurs in life. Filling the silence with unnecessary words, keeping busy doing and going, pushing further.  All I could do was stop, take a deep breath, be silent and wait.

sideyard pond

sideyard pond

Rain duct

Rain duct

Rain barrel

Rain barrel

We decided to forego the expensive liner to see what would happen without it. The amount of clay in our California soil is immense, so we thought it would be worth a try to see what would happen.

But the project didn’t seem quite complete. I started moving an old bench and table we had underneath the beautiful silver maple that graces the yard. When I did that, suddenly there was a possible extension available. We have always wanted to live on a property with a natural stream and, of course, a pond. So here we were with a natural place to put a streambed. It seems that this is a natural process in life, move a little something here and there, internally or externally, and a whole new opening is created for naturally flowing changes in life!

Dry Stream bed

Dry Stream bed

Stream bed

Stream bed

With a little bit of digging and arranging of the soil, we had a beautiful arrangement for a stream. The addition of more flat rocks creates a nice look, don’t you think?

Now, we were definitely ready for the rains to come. And, boy, did they. Just in time for my December birthday, the highest amount of rain we’ve had in California in one stretch came down and blessed us. Gradually, the pond began to fill. Each day, we looked at it to see if it was staying put. The water level would go up and then go down.

 

Filling pond

Filling pond

Full Pond

Full Pond

Full pond

Full pond

A small pump was added and a stump to lay the hose over to keep the water moving so it wouldn’t stagnate. Amazingly, the water has stayed, though now that the rain is having a break, we don’t know for how long.

Nature abhors a vacuum, so before you know it the emptiness will be filled. The difference is that it will be filled with wondrous, unimagined changes that will sweep you forward into an inspired life, rather than one filled with obligation and stress.

 

The next step is finishing the stream and adding fountains to keep things flowing smoothly. Stay tuned in the New Year!