All my life I have lived surrounded by beautiful gardens. As a child the garden was a place of escape into wonder and make believe. As I grew older the garden became a place of family working bees - arguing with my siblings and protesting with my parents as we raked leaves, watered the garden beds and mowed the lawns . As a young adult home from university, the garden grew into a place where I could talk with my mother about the questions of life, as I helped her toil away in the vegie patch or prune the roses.
The garden grew and transformed, as I grew and transformed.
Yet after all this time of living with and working in our garden, I never took time to really stop and understand what I was doing or why I was doing it. I never really took time to come to know the garden.
Consequently, my own early gardens were a struggle … they puzzled me…How was I to help these plants thrive? What plants would grow in different conditions? What plants do I pull up and what do I keep?
All of these experiences now, seem like analogies for life. For so long I lived in the world, not really taking the time to understand anyone, … and relationships…just like the garden…they puzzled me.
Many years on the garden grows and thrives. I make time to tend the garden and time tend to the relationships that matter to me. I grow plants that meet the environmental conditions, and in the same way I endeavor to meet others in their worlds. Just as I acknowledge the seasons, I take time to acknowledge the shifts in life and celebrate the significant moments.
Gardening and life are both hard work, but the wonder and beauty of each remains within me.
This is an invitation to you, to find your own teacher…gardening is one of mine, what is yours?
(Specialising in working with the grief of life's transitions, Sarah Sacks, works from her practice The Grove Counselling, located in the Melbourne bayside suburb of St Kilda East .)
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