Monday, May 25, 2009

A Lesson From the Garden

I woke up this morning with an overwhelming sense of sadness. I didn't get out of bed right away, I lay there in my half sleep and thought about my mother. She's been gone now for almost 13 years. A stranger wouldn't know that this morning looking at me though - tears running down my cheeks and all. I wonder how different my life would be now if I were able to pick up the phone and call her for advice in this troubled time. What would she say to me? Would she cheer me on in my daily battles or would she soften and let me run back home and hide. Probably both. And maybe that's why I miss her so much today. Maybe I'm having one of those life moments this morning as I lament that my world isn't as I want it to be now. A class I'm taking isn't teaching me what I want to know now. My child isn't as tall as he should be by now, My job is not as secure as it should be right now. I thought my husband would have another job by now. Maybe what I'm really feeling this morning is that my life isn't what I think it should be right now.

When I first planted the garden several months back, I'd run out every morning to see if there were any seedlings poking their sleepy heads out of the dirt. I really wasn't very patient to say the least. Soon I discovered that the dirt brought in for the planter beds wasn't any good and had killed off my seedlings. So I bought some vegetable starts - interesting ones - from a new nursery I discovered out of a need to pick something up now on my home from the office one evening. I planted and the bugs came to dine. Oh my, the beds looked like I was growing lace! My desire to have an organic garden - well any garden at that point - was going up in smoke! I used row covers, made trips into the garden in the middle of the night to spray the offenders, used traps, implemented the remedies of old wives, read books, searched articles on the internet, chatted with other gardeners and drove the kind staff at my new found nursery crazy with my need to know now questions when all I really had to do was have patience. Instead of wanting it all now I needed to learn to live in the now.

My nursery man took me aside during one of my recent visits and said to me, "You've given your garden a foundation of good soil, water, fertilizer, compost and mulch. You just haven't given it any time." "Give it some time"

His words could not have been more true. In the last few days under the warm Southern California sun, my garden has begun to come alive. Plants are growing at record pace and I can't believe there are actually vegetables! Maybe, just maybe, I do have a little bit of a green thumb, or maybe just maybe the garden is teaching me patience.

Perhaps it's slowly showing me that nothing every happens now accept what's going on right at this very moment. Yes, I miss my mom and I wish with all of my heart that she were here now. She'd love my garden. Yes, I wish the economy would change for the better and at a faster pace so my husband could find work now. Yes, I wish my son were taller now. Yes, I wish my job were more secure right now. But none of that is true for now. One day all of it will come to pass because nothing can stay the same in this universe. It's all just a matter of time - like the garden.


  1. Oh Jane, I can read between the lines and feel your loss. But, I hope you feel your mother's spirit when you look at your son, or your garden, and especially in the mirror. I'm sure she'd be so proud of you.

    As for your garden-- Since your earlier post commented about your son eating tomatoes fresh off the vine, I'm pretty sure you have a green thumb and a garden that will soon blow you away! I can't wait to read about it.

    LOVE your writing and your blog. I'll be back again soon.

  2. Thanks, Joanna. I really appreciate your comments and your encouragement!

  3. I found your blog on an interview Joanna did for another blog. That bought tears to my eyes. What a beautifully written post. I just feel in a similar way to be honest. I think we get to an age when our parnts are gone or are aging and we get a sense of our own mortality perhaps. We take stock of our life. I just read another blog by an Indian woman who said that our issue is often that we do not realise what having enough means. I liked that concept.

    Gardens are healing and I think the answers will come to you all in good time. This is truly a beautifully written post. You write so well.

  4. Thank you, Lilly, for all your kind words. I like the concept of what you bring forth; ...what having enough means.... I find that I'm at my most content when I want for nothing and realize that it takes very little to be happy. : )

  5. Hi Jane, I'm over from Joanna's interview. I too lost my mum about 13 years ago and also feel sad about conversations I no longer get the chance to have with her. Not to mention her grandkids she not met and vice versa. I do hope there is a life beyond this one where we are reunited.

    I have recently discovered this blog by Rhonda - it is all about organic gardening, food production, etc. I think you might like it.