A Gardner Who Doesn't Garden
Updated: May 20, 2021
She never saw herself as a Gardner. Although she has always appreciated the beauty of working with the earth. Creating life using her hands was too big of a responsibility for her to take on. Instead, she liked to enjoy the garden, awing over the new buds, taking in all the beauty that the flowers and plants so graciously give. On sunny days, she would glance out at her garden, wondering how everyone out there was surviving. How the plants knew to conserve water, fight off invaders and still grow. In a way, she envied her garden. Its boldness, its magnificence, navigating life in elegance. As the summer days continued, so did the heat, and her infatuation with her garden. She became more and more curious about its workings, while still teetering on not tending to and imagining herself beginning to tend. This is a familiar place, for she has frequented it many times in her life. This is the place where uncertainty lives. As the dirt churned so did her curiosity to why it is so hard for her to connect to the land. This churning led her to a place that she was not expecting, a place hidden in the winters of her mind. What was exposed in this place was her fear, her doubt, her shame. Thoughts began to take root like weeds, and the thought of pulling them out became too daunting to bear. For over the years, she has grown to love the weeds, the little yellow buds that fool her into thinking that she is gazing upon thriving flowers. If she let herself, she could get carried away into the mess of it all. Now everything feels different. For she is seeing the weeds as they really are, self doubt, fear of being able to keep anything alive, distrust of her own hand. Where did she learn to not trust her own hand, her own intentions, her own ability of nurturing life? This lesson, rooted deep in her bones, deep in her ancestors bones was coming undone. As she glanced again at her garden, she noticed the slightest urge to walk to it. She followed the urge, following her feet; who were apparently leading the way, for her mind was quietly following suit. When she arrived at her garden, at her thriving, surviving flowers and plants, she noticed a patch of weeds. The innate desire to pull them came over her unexpectedly. Not knowing what she was doing, she began to follow this unspoken wisdom. She began to pull, and pull and pull, making room for her flowers to expand, to grow, to live. With each pull she returned back to different parts of herself. With each pull, she released that which had been rooted for years- the fear of keeping something alive. In this moment, she realized it isn’t the fear of death that caused her to so abruptly stay low to the ground. Instead, it was the fear of living life in all of her power. More space would mean more possibility, more vulnerability, more choice. The deeper she pulled, the deeper she was able to discard all that which was overgrown. All of the messy, tangledness that life has been storing for so long, now gone. She marveled at the open spaces, grieved what was before and began to dream of what can now be planted.