September is the first of spring here although there are no guarantees for warmer weather for a while yet.
Anticipating spring and summer, I have been waiting for the garden fairy to come clean up my gardens. I’m not quite sure what her problem is as I have seen the work she has done in the yards all around me like the original energizer bunny of mulching and weeding. Major garden cleanup involving pruners and heavy cutting is NOT on my list of favorite gardening activities. Sadly, she just refused to show up at my house!
What’s that you say? No garden fairy? Shut the door!😩
My yard is extremely overgrown and looking more like a South American jungle then a place to relax with a glass of cold lemonade.
Good thing I decided to get out of my gardening funk and tackle it myself this week.
I grabbed my kitchen scissors and headed out to my jungle of a yard. Yes, scissors. I’m no gardener and sadly, scissors were the closest thing I had on hand to use as a garden tool. It made about as much sense as a surgeon with a butter knife. Nonetheless, it was what I had and I walked out of the house certain that I could take on this overgrown mess.
The first few weeks after we moved into this house last year, I was enthusiastic about tearing up these intruders. It even felt mildly satisfying, but with hectic schedules, life in general and winter weather, the chore soon wore thin. Even maddening—and my poor gardens fell into disrepair and became overgrown.
Once I got into it…ugh! no, it wasn’t therapeutic…shoot…I was optimistic but weeds and bugs and sand flies nipping at my ankles is not my idea of relaxation or mind calming therapy. It’s hard work! Yeah, I know, scissors didn’t help…you should see the callous on my thumb.
Complaining aside, something kind of wonderful happened. As I picked and pruned and tied and tidied plants that seemed to have grown the size of the Titanic, I made a few discoveries. Under all the weeds, and plants that had taken over more than their intended space, were beautiful little plants struggling to survive. Some were twisted and bending -attempting to squeeze their way up through the rubbish to reach the nourishing sunlight.
Finding these fragile little seedlings increased my enthusiasm for the task. They also made me think about my heart. While I am enjoying more wholeness everyday, my overgrown garden was a powerful metaphor for the overgrown intruders that had once prevented happiness and joy thriving within my heart.
Fear, not forgiving, bitterness, judgement, criticism and hatred were tiny at first. They seemed inconsequential and comforting solutions to events I was facing at their appearing. Mimicking a beautiful budding vine, they intertwined each other and slowly, insidiously, choked the life out of the beauty within my heart until joy began to die.
Necessary and painful weeding within my heart stripped the garden of my soul clean and exposed tender seedlings of happiness and joy twisting and bending -searching for the light of hope. Life, full life, was awaiting me but it required work on my part.
I began a step at a time for no overgrown garden is cleared in one go. I cried out for forgiveness. “Forgive us this day as we forgive those who trespass against us…” Because I received forgiveness and mercy, my heart softened and offering forgiveness and mercy became a choice I wanted to make.
I clipped back hatred and bitterness uncovered love which -by the way- is limitless when it begins to bloom.
I pulled up judgement and criticism that had mugged my compassion for others. Blossoms of friendship and stronger relationships began to flower and color my life.
Fear has been the most tangled weed to dig up. Most days, I’m braver. Some days, I’m not. However, it’s more manageable when I apply gratitude.
These days, the garden of my soul flourishes with contentment, hope, happiness and love. It sings praise and celebrates new life.
I’m exhausted after taming my garden jungle this week to regain control but I am also grateful. It reminded me that the necessary hard work is definitely worth the effort both in my yard and within my heart.
Let me encourage you to do a little digging…you might be surprised what you find buried beneath the rubbish.