Senior persons often complain that time hangs heavy on their hands. In many instances this might be factually true. But there are remedies. This article looks at one in particular and some related general principles.
Many professionally well employed people spend their life during their professional career, fully utilizing the perquisites and other benefits that go with it. There is nothing wrong with it, so long as they also have some vision of the retired years that will inevitably arrive, if they have an average span of life. It is at this time that the hobbies developed during their earlier life will come in useful for them. One such hobby is gardening in their own houses.
The facilities for house gardens vary from place to place and from on geographical region to the other. Nevertheless, with modern technologies assisting even this hobby, it should normally be possible for one to pursue the art of gardening after one’s retirement.
The physical effort of gardening gives one the moderate exercise so essential in the advancing years and often neglected at this stage of life. Even if one’s physical health does not permit one to put in the effort for gardening, designing and supervising gardening have their dividends. We shall see what they are in the remaining part of this short essay.
If one has a courtyard for gardening, the effort in making and maintaining it and the pleasure of doing the work will prove to be a very good physical and mental exercise in every sense of the term for senior people. As a famous essayist once said, it is because every morning breaks with the hopes, expectations, uncertainties and suspense as the first morning after the world came into existence, each morning is so beautiful. In old age, when one tends to look backwards in time, gardening will definitely reverse that direction. Expecting and looking for the changes in every plant in the garden every day, as it develops and grows in its own life is a wonderful psychological experience.
Though there is a voluminous literature on gardening, as the number of plant species amounts to millions, a catalogue of all the properties of every species under the sun has never been made and perhaps never will be made. So, depending upon one’s taste in gardening, one can follow closely all the phenomena such as reproduction, variation of growth with the changes in weather, how best a particular species can be grown in the facilities available to one etc. from one’s own garden. Such information may not be available in standard sources of knowledge. For example, the popular, ornamental plant, anthurium, a relatively new entrant into the garden scene, has it idiosyncrasies which can thoroughly be understood in a particular context only by growing it and observing closely for several of its generations. The number of varieties of the plant, their variants, and hybrids can be learned, by raising them with critical observation. The same goes for the aromatic herb, basil which has medicinal qualities.
Thus, we can see that working a domestic garden; observing it daily for the wonderful changes in nature, enjoying its aesthetics and discussing with like minded friends will go a long way not only in keeping oneself agreeably occupied, but also in self actualization in the golden years.