She walks through her gardens at dawn and admires the beauty that hard work and many calloused hands have lovingly cultivated. In her imagination for several seasons now she has laboriously mapped out each garden zone in dedication to a loved one or special family dear to her heart. At the entry of each of the outdoor rooms she pauses in reflective grace. On this sacred ground resides the culmination of her imagination and inventiveness, her sweat and her tears. She has sourced the hardscape and each living plant with the resourcefulness of a magician in order to bring her vision to life. For this and so much more she expresses gratitude.
At the vegetable garden she pauses, the dew glistens on new growth of an aubergine and she considers how each vegetable will nourish her family in the summer months ahead. She secures the fencing to keep the critters at bay and she pulls a weed here and there. But, make no mistake, the morning’s audit is not merely perfunctory, it is her daily dedication. It is in this outdoor cathedral that she celebrates her life and her loves.
The colors in her flower gardens are well thought out to bring her joy and a vibrant red has called to her this season. As precious as rubies, bunches of juicy cherry red geraniums dot the landscape and will bloom all season long and into autumn. They are sturdy and built to weather storms, not unlike the gardener herself.
So much like ourselves, gardens require tending, regular care and maintenance. The Earth must be watered and fed wholesome nutrients. There must be proper amounts of sunlight and adequate space to grow, and they may need pruning when growth occurs at uneven rates. Of course gardens must be weeded. To cultivate a garden is to create a ritual involving both the giving of life and of honoring that life. From soil preparation to the joy of the harvesting each step is a learning process.
As each gardening task is benefited by a tool, a hoe, a shovel, pruning shears with which to make the work of gardening easier our friends become the soul nurturing instruments in our lives. While possible to achieve growth without, defiantly required to produce abundance in flowers and in our own happiness.
Like a gardener we choose the look and feel of the space and what we wish to have growing in our emotional garden. Our garden may be formal and structured, or wild and rambling. We may choose practical gardens of fruits and vegetables of those decorated with delicate flowers chosen for their color balance. Wide spacious lawns or a crowded riot of color and variety, or combination of all of these.
Just as the sentimental gardener will need to weed, at some point we must also weed our emotional gardens. It’s been said of nature that, “One person’s weed is another person’s wildflower.” Only the gardener can decide what plant belongs in their garden and what plant does not.