.....a garden life lesson


My garden never ceases to teach me.  Any time I am in there on my knees, hands in the dirt is like taking a course at Plant University, and it is without doubt part of an advanced degree……..

This was cleanup weekend.  That time each year where I have to remove all of the leaves and sticks by hand as a rake is much too harsh for all my newly emerging friends who are seeing light for the first time. Then it’s time to dig out the weeds. 

Let me start by defining weeds.  Weeds are simply plants in a place that you don’t want them.  Most of them are quite beautiful if you take a moment to really see them and many have incredible health benefits, but some of them have a habit of taking up more real estate than I carved out for them.  So I dig away and of course some of them are a little stubborn and it takes some elbow grease.  I am in there for quite a while.

Each year there will be one type that has managed to fill much of the empty space.  I don’t ‘want’ them there.  But the more I dig them up the more of them I find.  But this year I realized something. 

What do I want there?  Nothing remains empty.  The Laws of the Universe don’t work that way. So what is it that I would I love to see when I remove that wet clump of leaves?

Each year as I have discovered new medicinal plants and brought them into the circle they  become established, fill in and take some of the space that the other plants used to hijack.  The brand new red bee balm that I had always wanted was given to me by a friend from her garden this winter and is taking root nicely.  The St John’s Wort which was planted by seed three years ago with no success finally took off running last year.  Another friend’s Lenten Rose seedlings bloomed beautifully this year on large stems for the first time.  All in spots where my previous focus was on ‘getting rid of.’ 

I have been setting intentions on what I didn’t want instead of what I do want.  We do that in life all the time. 

There will be something in life that is no longer serving us.  We worry, plan, struggle against all in the hopes of getting rid of it.  Pushing it away, when instead we could be using that same effort to visualize and step toward what we do want.  When we fill our minds with a clear vision of what we do want, the negative thoughts have no space to root.  Each morning when we rise and do one thing in the direction of something we want, that which we don’t want begins to be slowly crowded out.  But if I leave that space empty and leave it to chance, then I get what I get.

The more I can fill my life with all that I do want even while the unwanted remains, the sooner I can claim the space as my own. Don’t spend time merely pulling the weeds.  Plant seeds instead!

Our life is our garden.  Plant it with care……

Thank you garden!