Wisdom of the garden

Wisdom of the garden

Life is like a garden, my sister says, constantly renewing itself. One plant blooms another dies off. A garden is an ever changing microcosm. It is a world of its own and I agree with my sister a garden is a good metaphor for life. Things are always changing, constantly coming and going. There is beauty, there is undergrowth, there are weeds and confusion, beginnings and endings.

Right now in Spring we wait for those beginnings. I pass my doorstep and see the weeds popping up before the plants. That hardy dandelion is always ready to spring forth. My irises are emerging from earth and on my walks I can see the buds on trees and one morning I know I will walk up the road and suddenly the leaves will be full and everything around me will be rushing forth. But right now it is still early and I notice every shade of green.

My other sister, I have plenty of them and grateful for it, says that life has gone faster since her fifties. She said that childhood seemed long, and having children at home was busy and slow but that since they grew up time has sped by. For her, this part of her life feels as if it is speeding by.

Life is like the blink of an eye perhaps?

Yesterday I was on a live call and we were counting down a minute until the meeting went live and the young host said, "That last minute is so long when you are  counting." And it seemed so. When you are sitting and waiting time does seem long. Waiting for the kettle to boil, for someone to come out to the car, for the phone to ring slows down time. Yet we don't want to be waiting, we want to be living, lost in our lives with time slipping by barely noticed.

Our life is richer when time passes quickly. At the same time it is important to take those slow minutes to wait in the garden, to listen to the peepers, to count the seconds and be alone with time. For these are the times we observe and listen. We see things emerge, and fall back. These are the times we can hear ourselves and listen to what the garden has to tell us about beginnings and endings, beauty and vitality, strength and weakness. In the midst of nature there is our story too. My sisters are right I am sure. 


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  • Deanne Fitzpatrick
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