“There are many tired gardeners but I’ve seldom met old gardeners. I know many elderly gardeners but the majority are young at heart. Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized. The one absolute of gardeners is faith. Regardless of how bad past gardens have been, every gardener believes that next year’s will be better. It is easy to age when there is nothing to believe in, nothing to hope for; gardeners, however, simply refuse to grow up.
~ Allan Armitage
Spring is coming to this part of the world. Daffodils, hyacinth, and tulips are peeking out from their winter cover, the robins are back and the mourning doves are singing love songs in the back yard.
Are you watching for bulbs to come up in your garden? Did you plant any last fall? Can you imagine someone watching for flowers to bloom in their garden where none were planted? Would you gently tap them on the shoulder and explain how flowers come to the garden?
Nature has a way of teaching us lessons we sometimes miss in day to day living. There are times when we think we’re working on our business or our life. We’re ecstatic about the number of chores we can check off, yet they don’t seem to get us any where and after our frustration we begin to realize we haven’t planted anything. All we’ve done is raked and cleaned up the garden, bought some tools and thought we were done.
Having a garden that is rich and satisfying involves preparing, and it also involves planting, watering, weeding, feeding, and more. It involves doing things in the proper season, giving the seeds proper soil, light, feeding and nourishment for success.
What do you want to grow? Is it joy? Family harmony? A career that is deeply satisfying? Before we plant a garden we spend the winter of our life pouring over ideas, seed catalogs if you will, looking at images and pictures of what we’d like our garden to contain, giving our garden form
and shape first in our minds, then on paper.
Once we have chosen the seeds we begin to prepare the soil.
We break up old thoughts and belief systems that no longer serve us. We remove the rocks of believing it can’t be done.
We plant the seeds. Our seeds are our thoughts and words.
We know it would be silly to plant watermelon seeds and expect lilies. In just the same way when we speak or answer the question: “How are you?” with: “The kids have been acting up, Matt’s out of work, I’m not getting along with mom, I hate my job, and then the economy, the war, money’s tight, ….” These become the seeds we plant and we grow what we nourish, what we give attention to with our words and thoughts. Thoughts, words… are yours of what’s going right? or what’s going wrong? Gossip and talking about others plants the very traits you judge in your garden. Are they what you want to grow?
We plant in places that allow the right light to reach our garden.
If the seeds of our dreams are planted in the shade of our obligations, fears, and limited thinking they will never grow to their full potential.
We fertilize by what we put into our minds.
Watching news, violent movies, reading the paper, gossiping about the neighbors, complaining about the boss, other people’s problems, worries, and anxiety are not the proper type of manure to grow a healthy garden! We need the richness of positive thoughts, inspirational stories, friends who uplift us, and the willingness to look for possibilities in situations rather than believing its up to someone else to change things.
We water our seeds with gratitude and appreciation.
What we love and appreciate, where we show our gratitude, feeds the earth of our dreams and gives the seeds of our dreams the nourishment to blossom. If you have difficulty finding appreciation and gratitude do a rain dance by remembering a time when you were out of work, had a tooth ache or life didn’t work. It will help you pour down appreciation and gratitude for what is right now. If that doesn’t work call in professional rain makers. They offer their services for free. All you have to do is volunteer at a soup kitchen, a hospice, or a home for children with terminal illnesses. You can’t leave without realizing how blessed you really are.
We weed out what we don’t want to grow in our garden.
As your garden grows there will be some weeds that have taken advantage of all the care you have shown. Its important to remove them, for if they get to grow they will strangle the plants you want, stealing nourishment and space. We weed out negative thoughts, unforgiveness, hate, and judgments about ourselves and others.
Enjoy the harvest.
Not all the seeds we plant will bloom, but nature is generous, and each bloom will provide thousands of seeds of new possibilities. Giving us lots to share, with others, because by our actions and the results in our lives we inspire others.
So what’s in your garden?