City on a hill,
Untouched lands beyond.
A fallow field is
The secret of fertility.

In the city, we see millions of lives represented in the windows, doors, and many floors of each building. We see excitement and the glories of civilization. But no matter how much those who follow Tao may enjoy the city, they understand the need for retreat into nature.

In the countryside, they find the nurturing quality of freedom. They can see new possibilities and can wander without societal impositions. In the past, pioneers saw the open prairies and were filled with dreams of dominating nature with the glories of man. Now we know different: We must preserve the wilds for our very survival.

We need time to lie fallow. If you cannot leave the city, just find a little quiet each day to withdraw into yourself. If you are able to walk in fields or in the hills, so much the better. But none of us can maintain the fertility of our beings without renewal.

Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao

We all need time to rest and reflect, to renew ourselves physically, spiritually, and mentally. Being out in my garden does this for me, or being in nature anywhere. Other ways I achieve renewal are soaking in the spa, quietly relaxing, or sometimes just taking that mental second to ask myself if something is really that important before getting upset.

I’m off to New York this week so will definitely enjoy the city. And appreciate my 70 degree weather and my garden when I get back! I always like coming back from a trip because the garden will have changed. The roses are just starting to put out new growth; they will be covered in it when I get back. And the bulbs may start to bloom. And it will be a new month, so I will get to flip all the calendars to a new month – yet another renewal!