Ten Thousand Days

Weeding

May 16, 2018

Photo: Markus Spiske

Day 1360 – 1364

I’ve been spending time in my community garden.  When I got my plot, it was in a state of sad neglect.  The weeds in the garden cover the entire plot and are a foot high.  I’ve managed to clear about 10 square feet of it.  There is an old bed frame and dead plants in there, as well.  I have no idea why someone would take valuable soil and let it go to this state but I don’t understand people that feel a need to pollute the earth that they touch.  My first task has been clearing the piece of land, and weeding.

If you don’t get a weed at the root, it will keep coming back.  Even if you do get the root, the influence of the gardeners around you can spread seeds and you have to start all over again.

As I’ve been unwinding the past, I’ve been tilling the soil of my heart and mind and I’ve unearthed a lot of ideas – ideas about him, ideas about what is acceptable to me, and ideas about myself.   I’ve had to decide what, if anything is worth keeping.

I’ve discovered a lot of ideas about me that I would consider to be weeds.  Many of them were planted by parents that grew up in an era when survival was still a prime concern and the luxury of having dreams and aspirations was considered unrealistic paths to ruination.  Like weeds, each dream was crushed or pulled out by the roots and self-limiting ideas were planted in their place.

I feel like I’ve already done the job of weeding many of them out but they’ve reappeared.  When I was in my twenties, I snipped the flowers off of these ideas and threw them away as I skipped after my dreams.  But they grew back, and as much as any life circumstance, I got in my own way of fulfilling my dreams.

Not content to believe that this was all there was to hope for, I did a lot of work on my psyche and I dug up the ideas by the roots.  And after many years, of this, I found the soil relatively free of these pesky grasses and in their place, I planted wildflowers and I learned to dance in the meadow of my own heart, mind and soul.

It is a fact of life that not everyone has good intentions towards us.  And while we may be dancing in the meadow and welcome anyone with a joyful heart to join us in the dance, there will sometimes come a stranger with ill intentions.    I danced, and I forgot to put up a fence and query the stranger at the gate.

When the wind blew the stranger into my life, carrying what looked like a lover’s bouquet, I failed to see that it was, in fact, a bunch of weeds, gone to seed.

Photo: Robb Leahy

 

Today is the new moon and it is a good time for planting.  Last night I had a wonderful walk and talk with a friend who is quite remarkable.  She said that if your dreams are not laughable they are not big enough.  I’ve been noticing that there are a lot of people that are quick to tear apart your dreams but few who encourage you to reach for the stars.  My dreams, I realise, are not laughable.  They have been dampened by the landscape fabric I have thrown down to keep the weeds at bay.  I’m grateful for this awareness, as sad as it may be.  And, at the same time, I feel a sense of delight and hope that dreaming laughable dreams is not something to hide, but to celebrate.  This alteration in my worldview has fed nutrients into the soil from which I will build the next phase of my life and I am grateful.

I’ve been wondering what – if anything – I can take to be the greater meaning of my experience with the stranger.  I haven’t come to any conclusion on that.  But I am grateful that I’ve managed to clear a lot of the weeds, again.  A friend says that she is grateful to her ex husband because if he had been even a little bit nicer she would have stayed with him and never become the person she is.  I can’t say that of myself – I had already done a lifetime of work to become poised to be a fully actualized individual.

I am grateful that I really have solidified how important gratitude is to achieving resilience in difficult circumstances.  Without this practice, I would not have had the strength to keep pulling at the weeds.  This time, I feel I have truly gotten at the root and I am poised again – albeit a few years later – to step into that new cycle of growth I was ready to embrace when the stranger appeared.

The sun is shining and the world has stopped spinning.  I have a couple of weeks of weeding and planting ahead of me in my garden.  This was a dream we shared, – that stranger and I – to grow our own food.  I used to feel that I had been discarded so that he could live our dreams without me – or, more to the point –  with somebody else.  Somehow, imperceptibly, I’ve found myself moving in the direction of this dream without him.  I’ve been a bit lost and moving through life like a zombie, but I’ve kept moving forward.  Without being conscious of it, I have planted the seedlings of a new, meaningful, dream.  I no longer care what he is doing or who he is doing it with.  It is a joy to see some of  my germination has begun to produce exciting new shoots.

Photo: Markus Spiske

I put my hands into the soil and I feel One with the earth.  As I work on my plot, I  improve the conditions of the earth beneath me.  This is a deeply spiritual act of service for the planet and all her creatures.  Whether I grow food this year, successfully, or not, I will have achieved a purpose in working this piece of earth, with love.

 

For what are you most grateful today?

 

 

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