Gardening last weekend, I was reminded of the lessons of life. As we pulled dead brush from the ground, trimmed back over-growth, yanked weeds and pruned, the circle of life was right in front of me.
I never thought I would like gardening. Being a true Manhattanite (born and raised) with horrible allergies and a healthy dislike for bugs and snakes, I felt that gardening and I were on opposite sides of the spectrum. However, after moving into our house last July, I realize our garden and plants need us to survive. I wasn’t really prepared to be a ‘mother’ to a large garden: plum trees, fig trees, a pear tree and an apple tree, but sometimes life gives you opportunities to grow and try new things if you are open to the experience. I got into the flow of gardening back in the fall. It felt good to be outside, giving our home some loving, getting my hands dirty and feeling connected to Mother Nature and spending quality time with my partner.
It took some practice for me to bring my mindful and meditative outlook into the garden, but when I did, I felt a deeper sense of awareness and it made gardening feel like an experiment and less of a chore. The beautiful and subtle reminder of how delicate life is was right between my fingers. We pulled out dead plants that didn’t survive the winter months while at the same time witnessing new buds blossoming. Their neon fresh green leaves stretched out in search of more energy and light. It was a beautiful reminder that life blossoms, grows, evolves and dies every day. As this plant’s ‘mother,’ I worried about it. I thought: “It is February! It’s not spring yet, how can it be growing already?” I didn’t want it to die if it didn’t receive enough sunshine or if it hit freezing temps at night.
Playing in the garden made me think about humans and how we are coming out of our winter slumber in the final, dog days of winter. We are about to blossom with the spring’s energy of re-birth. Just like these buds need the right temperature, enough sunshine, nutrients and a symbiotic relationship with their fellow plants, we as humans need the same thing. The winter months are naturally a time to slow down, restore, be home and cook soup or heavier dishes to keep us warm. In order to transition into spring, we get to embrace the fresh energy with intention. Unlike plants, humans have the cognitive and physical capacity to make our own choices, be aware and pro-actively take care of ourselves.
So as you start to bud, I want to welcome you to think about ways you can support your bud to blossom. Think about your environment? What in your home, car, or workspace needs to change so there is more fresh energy to grow? What nutrients were you not getting in the winter months that your body is now craving? What friends, family, co-workers will support your symbiotic relationship so you can continue to grow together?
Personally, I spent the last few weeks cleaning and organizing my environment and body. I wouldn’t say spring-cleaning quite yet, but more of a deep clean and set of re-balancing. We hired someone to deep clean our house, which was the best decision I have ever made. She helped make our house feel fresh, revitalized and shiny, cleaning spaces I had never even thought of! I cleaned out the clutter in my closet—the excess weight that fogs my vision when I search for something to wear. I reset the balance in my body by. making medical appointments and cutting out caffeine and sugar for a few weeks. I want my bud to feel full of pure energy and light so it can continue to grow and blossom as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer.