Regardless of my age, size of my property, or financial situation, I plant.
It is my therapy. I can talk to plants and they don’t answer, much like many expensive therapists. Gardening regenerates my spirit, which begins running low toward the end of our six to seven months of pre-COVID winters; even more now. After so much news of illness and death, my heart sings in anticipation of spring. Now is the time for birth and regeneration.
My house of worship for spiritual renewal cannot be contained by walls. It is everywhere—especially here, in the mountains, near a great river. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”— this quote has many authors. The beauty here cannot be ignored. You can see it, hear it, feel it, smell it and taste it.
Every time a seed sprouts, it takes my breath away. Yes, every time. Seedlings represent a new beginning. They must weather the elements, adapt to their environment and endure stressors such as heat, drought, disease, weeds and predators. How that seedling survives is not just its DNA but also the help it gets along the way in order to thrive. Some make it, some don’t. A lot like humans.
Anger management. I use weeding for all my frustrations, turning negative energy into something positive. Fortunately, weeds never sleep, so there’s plenty to pull when needed. If you don’t have any weeds, then your soil needs something. If a weed won’t grow in your dirt, nothing else will either.
My gym. I don’t have to pay any fees. I walk out my door and get on my knees to pull out those weeds—I’m digging, raking, filling in holes, preparing my beds, transplanting plants that weigh a ton when wet. The next day, I can feel every muscle in my arms, calves, thighs and glutes. It’s not painful. It is the waking of those muscles that haven’t shoveled snow in a while or done much of anything physical (unless you count eating as exercise).
My tanning salon is the sun, filled with vitamin D. Give me a few hours of sun and my energy kicks in. When I play in the dirt, there’s no need to sunbathe. I’m up and out with the birds, in with the bees and watering if needed at 5 p.m. I’m grateful when it rains.
Meditation to me means focusing on a phrase, a mantra, so as to keep all other thoughts out of my mind, to find Nirvana. Evidently, it turns out I can’t remember my mantra. However, I can remember to look for where I’ve seeded. What I’ve seeded is a different story. It doesn’t matter. It’s a surprise garden. I am never disappointed! Planting even a few seeds in a small container, watching with such focus those tiny sand size flecks daily turn into flowers, vegetables or herbs or even a blade of grass—that is my Nirvana.
By fall, I have regained my spiritual and physical strength, emotional health and perspective. Six months of daily reminders: to be patient, one day at a time, I can do this, be grateful, some things work and some don’t—that’s life. Don’t let the weeds in life spoil your dreams.