Most of my world right now revolves around “green stuff” as Tim calls it. (For those of you who follow me on Insta or FB sorry about the garden overload!) But when I was watching a show I follow on Discovery + called ‘Growing Floret’ the other night it finally clicked as to why, after 23 years in the landscape business, this is the year I’m so passionate about it.
After Fred passed the flight reflex I’ve always had got worse. Way worse. I wanted to be anywhere but home. My mind was filled of thoughts of getting out of Texas, anywhere but here, I didn’t care. Never really realizing that I was running from what was inside. And that no matter how many miles I put between home and those that loved me I wouldn’t be able to ever escape until I stopped and healed.
Cue up today. I’ve always had a green thumb. I will proudly say I got that from my grandfather. But in years past my gardening was to pay homage to him. To be close to Fred. It wasn’t about me. It was about pleasing them, honoring them, missing them. What I have finally realized is different about this year is that the fear is gone. Fear of “doing it wrong”. Fear of disappointing them. Fear of anyone’s judgement if it doesn’t yield, look right, blah blah blah. Something about the changes in me in the last two years have allowed me to do this for ME this year. And to be ok with it being for me. I still look at all my magazines. Watch the green shows until Tim, I’m sure, wants to throw the remote and I soak up TikToks and YouTubes like a sponge. But if it dies? Doesn’t yield like I want? Pull it up and start again. (There is a life metaphor in there somewhere I’m sure.)
This spring in my business hasn’t been any different. In fact it’s been 100x worse. My anxiety, when I focus on it, is off the charts. Panic attacks are a new thing I’m not really fond of. I’m going through huge changes at work. The pressure is intense. But a not so little difference this year? I pull up to the stop sign at the corner each day and my body lets out a breath. I sit at that stop sign for a fraction longer than I have to and I take in my yard. It’s not pride I feel. It’s peace. I’m home. More importantly? I WANT to be home.
As I walk towards my “shades of Caribbean” painted gate along the brick path that I saw in my magazines and Tim made a reality the fear, stress, and worry of the day seeps out of me. The gladiolus are starting to reward me with gorgeous blooms that make me smile. Once I get inside the gate I have to force myself to go inside and say hello to Tim and the dogs before I race back outside to see what changed in the last 24 hours in the garden. (And yah somedays I forget to say hello to them!).
I grab my “f*&% it bucket” as I call it – which houses a skirt with all my tools on it and a wide open space for all the weeds I’ll pull and cuttings I’ll take off if need be – and I head outside. I usually have about 45 minutes after I get home while Tim is still working that I get to be outside in the garden and unwind. Tim worries constantly that I’ve bitten off too much, that it’s too much work, and what I can’t quite make him understand is that it’s a form of medicine that if they ever figured out how to bottle would put the pharmaceutical companies out of business.
Despite having harvested about 10 lbs of squash at this point I squeal like a teenager at each new little “baby” that emerges. I check the cukes and wait impatiently for enough to be ready to start canning. I hover over my tomatoes like a mother bird – so afraid the squirrel is gonna take them again this year. I pore over seed catalogs and sites looking for something new and different I can try my hand at growing.
And I now I realize. Despite my teasing Tim about his travels this summer – I am content to know I’m gonna be home in my garden. I’ve waited a long time to feel some sense of home and hearth again. To be able to open my heart to love and to be loved again. All of those things are the reasons my home and my heart are thriving. Like my beautiful plants God nurtured me through the tough times, watered and fertilized me when I was withering, and now my roots are strong again. I trusted him when I was broken and dying and unable to see the sun and he nurtured me the same way I do any of my plants.
Colossians 2:7 – Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
I’m thankful. So very thankful. Blessings y’all – Amy