Spring is turning into Summer. It is a time for gardening. Hands in the earth, connected to the natural world in a beautiful and unique way.
This is our first growing season in our house in Grand Rapids. This season is one of trial and error.
How do things grow in our current soil?
Does my plan of garden locations work for our sun/shade layout?
What needs to be removed?
What needs to be added?
While planting my mini garden I couldn’t get over the connection this growing season has to this season of my life.
The first step in my garden was to remove all the dead plants, all the trash, and anything harmful. For the last eight months or so I have been going through the same process within myself. What is dead within my heart? What trash am I uselessly carrying around? What is harmful to me?
For me this has involved removing things. For instance, when I had my hysterectomy, I literally and emotionally removed the “maybe I will someday have a baby” anchor that had been pulling me down for years. The pain, the scraps, the twisted vines of thought all needed to be cleared out. There was no growth there, merely pain and death.
Then came time to look at what trash I was carrying around. This is still an ongoing process, what hurts from the past am I still allowing to injure my heart? What things that do nothing but pull me down am I still insisting on lugging around? When the trash is identified it needs to go, sometimes it can easily be thrown out and sometimes it takes some digging and fighting. Sometimes we are so used to the trash we don’t realize it needs to be thrown away before it makes everything dirtier.
What am I doing or keeping around that’s harmful? Is there a situation that continually causes me pain? Is there a relationship that is based on obligation and pain and not love that needs to end? Is there some harmful way I’m treating or speaking to myself that needs to stop? Yes, yes to them all. Self care is becoming paramount. I’m slowly, and painfully, learning that it is ok and necessary to create boundaries. Since I have never created a boundary before it takes some practice, and it often takes the people around me by surprise. That’s ok. It’s new growth for us all. Without a good border for my garden, the weeds would take over. Without a good border for my heart; pain, resentment, and disfunction take over.
Once I had the garden cleaned up I planted some vegetables and herbs around a mammoth sized hostas. Is the hostas hurting my veggies? No. Does it belong there? No. Moving it will take more work than I had energy for the day of planting, but it’s presence is awkward. It’s a beautiful plant- it just doesn’t belong in my vegetable garden and it is taking up space where I could be growing more food to nourish myself and my family.
What things in my life work, and are beautiful but are not in the right place? Are my priorities out of whack? They definitely have been. Where I devote my time and emotional energy needs to be in line with my priorities and goals. Otherwise, I may have a beautiful plant blooming in the wrong part of my life and compromising the area around it.
My vegetables and herbs are in the ground and they are struggling, fighting, and thriving.
I am more grounded than I have been in years. It’s a struggle, I’m not sure who I am at this point so it is taking some exploration to find out where I can grow and what this new version of Cabrielle looks like. I am fighting through some complicated emotions and situations in life. I’m fighting figure out how best to find a balance in this hectic, miraculous life I’m living. Even with all the struggle, even with the fight- I am thriving. I am living my life truly and authentically as myself and that is both exhilarating and terrifying.
My self discovery and my garden are in their infancy. Both need a lot of tender love and care, patience and will require a lot of trial and error. We will learn a lot together, this patch of earth and me. One thing I know for certain- this is going to be one tremendous season of growth.