Life is a Garden

My mother loved her garden. I remember when she passed on, at the funeral, I showcased her garden angels and a photo album titled Dotty’s Garden.

I was never a big gardener. In fact, at college, when my cactus, Buford, petrified, word got around. People from far reaches of the dormitory brought their dying plants in hopes that my green thumb could assist them. 

When we moved into our current house, we were blessed with a beautiful backyard garden that the previous owners landscaped. My husband fell in love, and so did I. 

A few years ago, a backyard flood destroyed our garden and our basement. It was caused by surrounding properties. To me, the flood represented how things take over and encroach upon our lives. Sometimes it is not easy to rise above those situations. It takes work.

While we had to rebuild our basement, lost a few trees, and weeds took over our garden, we solved the crux of the problem. The local government fixed the situation. 

Presently, we have taken pride in this effort by slowly managing our backyard. It was not easy, and with each season, there were more challenges. You see, the garden represents life. 

I always ask myself, am I managing and nurturing my garden (life)?

When I venture outside, my mom is right there with me, and today Dotty spoke to me and urged me to connect with nature. I always listen to my mother. I took a look around and noticed that our efforts to manage our garden had proven to make a difference. While it still required work, it became easier to manage.

As I sat on the ground, focussed on what needed to be done, my mom asked, “What just happened?”

I replied, “I turned off my brain.”

“Gardening can be meditative,” Dotty replied.

As I bent over, pulling up some invasive weeds, I said to the weed, “Aha! I caught you!” 

My mom spoke, “You know what that represents, right?” 

“Yes,” I replied. “It’s about cutting out things that do not serve the greater good.” 

I continued to bend over, my head below my heart. My mom said, “See! You are getting your blood pumping. Gardening can be great for circulation.”

I continued on to a dandelion that started to bud, and remembered what my mom said, “Nip it in the bud.” In other words, do not let things get out of hand, or it will be harder to manage. 

This situation brought a smile to my face. Not only was I able to communicate with my mother and share the present moment, but for the first time in a long time, I managed my life from an easier space. 

I know that things in life will not always be easy to balance. Life is consistently changing. But, I now know that life is much easier if you tackle things one moment at a time

Lesley Wexler,