Being with my plants brings me peace and tranquility. I used to do big in-ground gardens but, as I got older they got too much to keep up with AND we had a massive influx of critters: deer, raccoons, rabbits, and the like all who found my plants the most delightful crunchable munchables on the block! Now I garden in containers on my back deck, a small row boat in the front yard where the critters don’t tend to venture, and I have managed to keep my herb garden thriving for the past 10 years, probably because it’s close to the house.
I can’t describe to you how I feel when I’m out there among the plants. The connection I feel with the Earth and the Divine Lord is so real I can almost see it. In fact, I have been blessed to see it once.
I was out in the herb garden one evening pulling weeds and talking to my plants…I always talk to them and tell them how pretty they are and how well they’re doing; sometimes I even tell them my problems… anyway, I was just out there alone and I felt this overwhelming sense of calm and love. I looked up and there was a beautiful woman standing upon the rock…the moonlight shinning down upon her lovely face and bouncing from her long black hair. She looked down and smiled at me, waved Her hand down over the plants and smiled wider. She nodded to me as though She was very pleased and happy with me. Then from behind Her appeared a striking man. Both of Them appeared to glow with a wondrous inner light that I could only hope to have.
He smiled at me, took Her hand in His, they kissed softly and then they were gone. It was an experience I shall never forget. I just stood there among the catnip and vervain staring, wondering if I had really seen what I had seen, my mouth hanging open. I literally had to shut my jaw with my hand. I know They were there and I know They were pleased with me and what I was trying to accomplish.
What struck me the most was the Love they seemed to have for each other. It was undeniable and so apparent that a blind man could have seen it. I realized that gardening is a lot like a long-term romance. You start with a tiny seed, you plant it in the dirt, you water it, you weed it, you help it grow and develop into the biggest best plant it can be and then you harvest the fruits of your labor. Just like Love.
You start, maybe with a blind date (a seed); it looks like a good seed, so you plant it (dates, phone calls, cuddles by the fire on long winter afternoons); you cultivate it and prune it (arguments, fusses, fights,); and from that pruning you watch it grow stronger (making up, seeing each other’s points of view, coming back together and going forward), until it matures and flowers (marriage, perhaps, and all that comes with it). One day the fruit appears (children) and then one day the fruit goes away—maybe you’ve been lucky enough to eat it or perhaps it fell off the vine prematurely. It produces more flowers and more fruit under your tender care (grandchildren, perhaps). One day as winter comes to call and summer fades away, the plant withers, its leaves curl up, it dwindles and it dies. Just like an old married couple sitting in their rocking chairs on their front porch, holding hands, watching the world go by, from beneath heads of silver hair. One day, one of you is left alone. The plant is gone.
Winter settles in, the wind blows cold as you try to remember the warm sunshine of Summer.
Gray days lift. The sun comes out. The snow melts away. The grass turns green. The garden is ready for tilling.
The plant that died off last year is now coming back to you in its all of its glory.
Such is the Wheel of Life and of Love; endings always lead to new beginnings.
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