Not too long ago I had lunch with a new friend. In the course of our “getting to know each other better” discussion, she asked a question that required me to think about something that I have just taken for granted for a long time. It’s something that all of my long-time friends also take for granted, so I’m not sure if I’ve ever been asked if I have always loved gardening.
When I was growing up, my parents both liked gardening for different reasons and purposes, but it wasn’t until I was out of college and living in the city that I really became drawn to the idea of having a small piece of earth that I could help to heal. The ways that so many human societies are destroying our ecosystem has always struck me in the gut, so much so that when I was an undergrad I began with an Environmental Science degree as one of my majors. Life took other turns, though, and when I finally started living in places for longer than a semester at a time, I began to want to help on an intimate level. Container gardens on balconies, community garden plots, pots on the windowsill, I loved them all, but they helped me realize that I wanted a piece of the earth directly that I could nurture over the years. It’s a very big reason why I moved to the place I did and has been a huge motivator for the last six years of my life.
I now have a tiny house on a half-acre lot in a town that allows me to have a few chickens in my garden (oh, how they love Japanese Beetles!). I’m certainly a newbie at this all, and learning a lot along the way. In just the past year, though, I have created an environment where the worms are thriving and lots of new wildlife are stopping by. Even though it’s a very small effort in the grand scheme of things, I’m seeing the benefits in front of my very eyes of working with nature to help the healing process.
I had never lined up the baby steps of my gardening journey in order to see the big underlying reason for my attraction to it in the first place. I am grateful for the opportunity of the question asked by a friend over a nice lunch. It’s a blessing whenever you discover new things about yourself, even the things that were always there and you just hadn’t named.
I think it’s magical, what the worms can do… what a tiny seed can do… what friendship can do.
"Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think."
Horace (Ancient Roman poet. 65 BC-8 BC)
It’s summer! Long hours of light mean even more outdoor time is possible. If there’s a beautiful day, grab it and share some fun with a friend. Every moment is precious, and it’s easy to get sucked into the logistical “shoulds”. We all can work to remember the overarching “should” of enjoying this life and this world right now.