Gardening, kindness, Mental Health

Grateful for My Garden

Today I am feeling grateful for my garden; and pea seed to be specific. For over 50 years I have marched the wrinkled orbs down a double row on either side of a trellis, the same as I did this morning.

When I was small my mother would get me to walk down the line of peas after they were positioned to “set” them into the soil. I would carefully walk, tightrope style, down the rows of our massive country garden and she would come behind, pulling the soil over the pressed peas with her hoe.

As an adult, I coerced my own small children into marching down the rows – which by then I realized was simply a method of including children in the planting process more than a necessity. In the absence of any small, eager, children, desperate to be included, I simply settled the pea seeds in place with either my fingers or the flat part of the hoe.

Even if you don’t “settle” the seeds, we all space them the same, cover them the same and watch the familiar looking plants push their way up to greet the summer, the same way, year after year. There is something immensely connecting and nourishing about this.

The last two years I have been without a proper garden. We moved far from our home mid-summer, rented a house in a new city while we settled in and eventually found a place to buy, which we didn’t take possession of until well into the following growing season.

There have been so many changes over the last few years. Loved ones have died and we all have undergone many traumatic events. We left a place where I had lived my entire life.

My new garden is now what grounds me. The familiarity of starting seeds, the art of planting, tending and harvesting vegetables and then replenishing the soil in preparation for the next season to come, gives me much needed hope for our future and a sense of stability.

In a world where everything can – and does – change on a dime, I am grateful for the infinite kindness behind Nature’s design that allows for the planting of a garden to remain exactly the same whether the garden is deep in the wilderness or smack dab in one of Canada’s largest cities; whether the garden being planted was in the 1960s, the 2020’s or any given date in the past or future. I thank you for this.

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