Saturday, September 29, 2007

Well, How 'Bout That? I Like Gardening.

For years the mere mention of the words "garden" or "gardening" conjured up memories of worms and other creepy crawlers slithering in the lawn as I tried to pull a seemingly endless crop of weeds from my parents' back yard.

Because of those memories, I truly didn't mind the decade I spent after college as an apartment dweller. I was happy knowing that the only earth I would touch was the potting soil and herb seeds I placed in a couple of terra cotta herb pots my hubby and I received as a wedding gift.

Even when we moved in to our first home eight years ago I managed to avoid touching soil by hiring high school and college students to do the dirty work. I also hired someone to do most of the gardening and yard work last year after moving in to our current home.

After such good care given to the landscape by previous homeowners, I took it for granted that the tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and other plants, flowers and shrubs would always return. Little did I know that the early April snow storms would take their toll on the landscape. I could no longer ignore the dried leaves and dead branches that had accumulated in the flower bed.

I really didn't intend to clear the flower bed myself. I only meant to pick up a plastic grocery bag that had freed itself from a garbage can somewhere and landed on what I thought was a dead shrub. But I couldn't, for some reason, just stop with the plastic bag. I grabbed a rake and started clearing up all the dead branches and leaves. I was pleasantly surprised when I uncovered some new shoots that were hidden beneath the garbage.

For the two hours I was out there raking, digging, pulling weeds (and, yes, chasing after my adventurous son), I thought about my own life and whether there was any emotional garbage that needed to be cleared. I thought about the fears I have that are preventing me from showing my true self, and how good it will feel once those fears are gone. I thought about the very things I usually reserve for late night reflections.

When I stepped outside that afternoon, I certainly didn't expect to have a spiritual encounter. Now that I know how therapeutic gardening can be, I look forward to heading out there every day -- despite the fact that I saw a couple of really large creepy crawlers.

(Originally posted May 3, 2007, on Just Mom's Musings.)


Lori said...

Great post.
What a great time to clear our heads when we are out in amongst nature and all the beauty that God created.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite posts!

Tricia said...

It is the most calming great spirit lifting thing in the world. I too love gardening.