I never thought about gardening.
I knew what the concept was; plant seeds, things grow, end of. It didn’t interest me in the least. The process seemed like a lot of work.
A few years ago, I met a man who would talk about his garden—we will call him Garden man.
It was rather boring for me but being the good friend that I was, I listened and smiled. He talked about his damn garden from spring through fall. I mean, seriously when does this garden freaking die for the love of all good things. Then winter came.
Whew! That garden was dead.
At the same time, my marriage was ending. Each and every day, I would cry about my failed marriage, my failed life, and my failed future. Each and every day, Garden man would listen like the good friend he was.
Before I knew it, it was spring again. I braced myself for the garden talk. I figured since I took over winter conversations, I can give him his garden talk for the next three seasons. To my surprise, Garden man had a gift for me on that chilly March morning.
He handed me a brown paper bag with a ribbon around it. I quickly opened the bag to find small envelopes scattered in the bag. I lifted one of the envelopes, which had a picture of cucumbers on it.
I glanced up at his kind face and smiled. Not the normal fake smile I would give him whenever he talked about his garden but a real, genuine smile.
He told me that I needed a garden now more than ever.
I felt I owed Garden man for being so kind, so I got busy on my little garden. I started with a small area in the yard where I shoveled a square hole. I made sure the area I chose had plenty of sunshine. I tilled it to turn over the dirt. I picked up wood from the store and built a little home for the garden to separate the garden from the grass.
I took the envelopes out of the brown paper bag to read the instructions and made a chart so I would know exactly when to plant each seed. I also picked up some wildflowers to plant around the garden to keep out animals once the garden would begin to grow. I planted lettuces, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, basil, parsley, and dill.
Each and every day, I watered my garden, I weeded my garden, and I mulched my garden. I would hurry home from work, put on my cute little gardening hat, gardening gloves, and overalls so I could garden my a** off for hours.
Within days, weeks, and months my garden produced vegetables and spices, which the kids and I used with dinner each night.
While I worked on the garden, I felt at peace. I felt in the present. I felt calm. I didn’t think of my failed marriage. I didn’t feel so sad. I didn’t feel lonely.
This garden reminded me of my life—my new life.
I picked the perfect spot with plenty of sunshine to start my garden—my mental state to begin a new life.
I planted a seed—me on my own.
I worked on it every day, taking out the weeds and giving it water—I eat healthy, exercise, and educate myself.
I protected it from the animals with wildflowers—my fragile heart.
And I watched it grow into something beautiful with purpose and meaning—my new confidence and strength.
Just like the new life I was building for myself.
I work on my garden day and night all spring, summer, and into the fall. This garden saved me. It gave me new meaning. It gave me hope for new beginnings.
Go and garden yourself a new life.