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May 27, 2020

Why I’m a Girl who Gardens.

 

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In a world where busy is beautiful and rushing is respected, we need to find a place of peace.

Respite from the rushing, from the hurry, and from the business of the world is so important—but it’s almost as if it is impossible to find that place of respite. A place where you can recharge and become rooted in reality instead of the past or instead of the future.

Our stress can, of course, come from things that are in our present lives, but stress often comes from having a difficult time leaving things where they should be—whether that’s the past or the future. 

Over the last few weeks, most of our lives have been impacted by a shelter-in-place order, quarantine, or by the pandemic itself in some form or another. There is a widespread range of feelings people are experiencing, all of which are valid, even if some are more complicated or harder to sit with than others.

Gardening serves so many of our natural, human drives and desires—from being connected to feeling mindful about the present, and from nurturing something or caring for a life to watching and fostering growth.

Gardening is good for the soul, helping us to find a way to be rooted to nature and explore how we can help others grow. Watching a seed turn into a seedling and the seedling growing from nourishment into a full plant is fulfilling in so many ways.

Gardening helps you appreciate growth and adopt a growth mindset.

We don’t look at trees and wish they grew faster. We don’t rush flowers to bloom. Instead, we spend time caring for them, providing them with the water they need, the nutrients they are hungry for, and the care they need to grow to their full size.

A growth mindset appreciates opportunity to learn, to grow from our failures and try again.

Gardening helps you accept what you cannot control

Mother nature knows no authority other than her own. You cannot control the weather. There is no pattern of rain or sunshine you can control which leads to radical acceptance of your circumstances. You need to work with Mother Nature in order for your garden to grow, planning and planting in places that get the appropriate amount of sunshine. 

The more we find acceptance in the unpredictability of life, the faster we can find relief from stress that comes from trying to control the future.  

Gardening creates community.

Master gardeners all over the world know the power of a community garden. Working together with others to share knowledge, reap the benefits of bounty, and nurture the garden together offers an opportunity to create community. The phrase “it takes a village” comes from raising children, but it takes a village to take care of all kinds of life—human or otherwise. 

St. Louis, Missouri has 102 community gardens. All over the United States, people garden together and create community to make sure they can meet all of their village needs.

Gardening is good for the soul for so many reasons, but it also helps lower the stress hormones.

While you’re gardening, you’re replenishing both yourself and your garden.

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