April 30, 2021

7 Unexpected Lessons from my Garden.


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A post shared by Elyane S Youssef (@elyaneyoussef)

I’ve always been an avid lover of plants thanks to my mom.

Growing up, I got used to seeing indoor and outdoor plants in our house. When I had my period, my mom would go outside, pick some marjoram, and steep a few leaves in my cinnamon tea. When she made pasta, she made sure to pick the basil before anything else.

Three years ago, when I moved to a new city, my mother gifted me a pot of freshly planted basil and thyme. Ever since, my garden has grown bigger, and I’ve become like mom: obsessed with plants.

I started with easy-to-grow plants, such as basil, mint, thyme, marjoram, lavender, and rosemary. Last year, I planted six types of chili pepper, bell peppers, radishes, onions, garlic, rocket, corn, green beans, strawberries, and cherry tomatoes. This year, I added to my garden: carrots, broad beans, cucumber, three other types of tomatoes, loofah, ginger, and peas. (We also have one lemon and one pomegranate tree.)

Besides their beneficial properties and yummy taste, these plans have taught me a lot. Every day, I can’t help but notice how many similarities we have with plants. When I seed, harvest, or water them, my mind travels to another realm and I reflect on the lessons they have offered me.

The truth is, we can learn so much from nature. As I always say, if we want to understand life better, we need to try planting.

Here’s what I learned from my garden:

1. Some make it—others don’t.

I’ve learned to sow more seeds than I need because not all seeds germinate—exactly how one (or more) lucky sperm makes their journey toward the womb. The beginning of our existence appears to depend on a tad of luck.

2. All plants are destined to die.

All of them, really—some even die before bearing fruits. Plants have shown me that death is an integral part of life.

3. In order to flourish, we need to nourish.

When I properly prune, water, and place my plants in the right spot, they thrive. The same applies to us. When we practice self-care, we grow.

4. When rain knocks them down, they recover.

I’ve noticed that my plants always look flattened after heavy storms. And I’m constantly surprised that they fix themselves in the next few days. That said, we’re stronger than we think. Just like plants that face heavy storms, we’re only bent—not broken.

5. Each plant grows at its own pace.

Every plant has its own needs, shape, and style. Some plants love the shade while others thrive in the sunlight; some seeds germinate faster than others. The same applies to human beings: though we may look the same, every person grows at their own pace.

6. Whatever you place your attention on, will grow. 

I can’t help but notice that the plants I constantly water and think about, significantly grow. But the ones I forget about always tend to die. So be careful where you put your attention and energy.

7. Plants need time to grow.

Although I get dead excited to see the final results, I can’t rush plants or push them to grow. My garden has taught me that patience is the most beautiful virtue.

What have you learned from your own garden?



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