Tip #26 of our #40DaysOfSelfCare adventure is CREATE. Let’s explore the natural growth and rest cycles of life, with Mother Nature as our master gardener and benevolent teacher.
A garden has always been a vital part of my life. My family roots began in the rich Iowa soil, as both my parents and two generations before them, lived on Iowa farms. Before that, my mother’s family had a farm in Ireland and my father’s family had a farm in Holland, a farm to this day is still run by the Brugman family.
Growing up, we always had a large garden of vegetables and flowers. My folks included me and my siblings in every process of creating and cultivating our garden. My Dad would plot out the garden, we all helped plant seeds, water drawn from the creek ran through the sprinkler system, Mom ‘made us” weed, and we all helped harvest the bounty. To this day, when I get the chance to pick a green bean from a garden, I see my Teakwood Drive garden and remember picking beans, then helping Mom can and freeze our garden green beans.
Through my adult life, I’ve mostly had herb and flower gardens, with a few tomato and kale plants representing the vegetable family. Gardening helps remind me of the sacredness of nature’s life cycles and the power of patience.
Planting, cultivating, tending, and watching a garden, helps us do the same with our life, especially creative dreams.
I love this quote by Daniel Webster:
“Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts will follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.”
Tending a garden has always helped me tend my relationship with writing and art. The life cycle of a garden is like the cycle of creative dreams and goals.
First, I plot the garden. I reflect and plan my desired dreams and goals as they relate to my creative life, whether it’s writing an article or a book. I tend to look at these dreams like a seasonal garden, such as planning what I want to create over the next 3 months.
Then I plant seeds. A seed represents a project, art tool, or dream. When planting seeds in a garden (or in the case of succulents, a rooting), I say a prayer of intention. This is a way to plant my seeds of creativity in the vast fertile fields of creative possibility.
Next comes nourishment. A garden needs sunlight and water. With my creative dreams, I need to shine my heart and soul on my dreams. And nourish my dreams with devoted time, attention, and energy.
The next phase, as Tom Petty sings, is the hardest. The waiting. Patience. Probably the most difficult cycle for most of us. And yet, it is the phase that is full of mystery and magic. Like, what the heck goes on in those green bean pods to make all that yummy bean goodness?!
Finally, the blossoming! Of flowers, fruits, and veggies. The time to celebrate. Feast on the glory of what you created. And, share your bounty with loved ones and the world.
Today’s Self-Care Adventure: Create a little garden today. No yard? Short on time? Don't have a green thumb? Then, plant succulents in a small container. They are easy to tend, requiring little attention and water. I keep these little pots on the shoe shelf at my front door. They are my personal and cheery welcome home party.