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How Has Gardening Helped Me Grow

...entry from one of our book contests
by Kim
August 5, 2007

I am not a Canadian resident but thought I'd respond anyway. My name is Kim and I live in Kentucky. I am a 41 year old mother of three teenagers and three mixed breed dogs, oh, and a wonderful husband. (He doesn't complain too much when I come home from the grocery with more flowers than food!)

The garden nourishes my soul in several ways. Besides the physical working of my muscles and bones(producing good chemicals), it gives me much time to contemplate the things of this life. Sometimes just getting out there and weeding can calm my emotions, allow me to think through tough situations, and just "process" my day. I have grown so much spiritually as I observe the garden and it's magnificent workings.

Every year I am amazed by some new insight that came forth in the garden. I see similarities between human nature and, well, nature. For instance, last year I was really thinking hard on all the differences in humans, how people from the same family, with the same upbringing can turn out so differently. About that time, I was sitting in my garden wondering what had happened to a plant that used to be so pretty and was now looking pretty scraggly. I observed that a nearby tree had really grown and the plant that grows best in full sun, was only getting part sun. It hit me then that we are like that.. Some of us grow better in certain environments than do others. In fact a particular environment may kill one, while making another flourish. Some need more water, some less. More acidic soil, more alkaline soil, and so on......

Another example is weeds. One day there may be only one or two, and then you walk by the next time and they have exploded all over the place. I think that it is that way in our lives sometimes. If we don't tend to the "weeds" in our lives (and we all have them) then they may take over and choke out the beautiful, useful things. I think pruning fits in here as well. Sometimes we have to "prune" things out of our lives, our hearts and souls, in order that we may produce good.

Take the soil of a garden. It has to just right to be productive. It is the same with our hearts. Our hearts have to be soft and fertile for good things to grow. I believe that gardening is a spiritual experience in that it tills the "soil of our hearts" as well.

A garden is ever changing, as is life. We have to move things, sometimes because we want to and other times out of necessity. And I am still thinking about that. Changes in my garden, and changes in my life, in my roles. I am getting ready to have an "empty nest". I am starting to have to help with my mother more, a new role for me,...that's what I'll learn about this year in the garden.

Thanks for the opportunity,

Kim

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