I’m grateful for the luxury of enjoying a lot of time in the garden this summer – now that the fog has cleared. From outward appearances it looks like I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing. No books, no technology, no distractions. What I’ve really been up to is being. Just me and the greatest teacher of all – Mother Nature. Here are 4 things I’ve learned from her wisdom that I want to remember and share with you.
1. Soil is everything.
Given the right conditions everything thrives in the summer. The soil we plant in needs to be cultivated and prepared – with the appropriate nutrients, water, and aeration – to receive and nurture what we plant.
Pay attention to where you plant yourself. The people we surround ourselves with, the activities we choose, conversations we participate in, whether our habits are life supporting or undermine our true purpose all affect our growth and development.
2. Be yourself without judgment or comparison.
Everything in the garden expresses its whole self – fully, radiantly, without apology and in all its glory. It also appears to do this effortlessly. Dahlias don’t try to be sunflowers. Beanstalks don’t agonize over not being able to produce an eggplant.
Give up the struggle. Just be you. In living color.
3. Nothing in nature survives if it is too dependent or independent.
Place plants in a way that encourages growth – not too crowded and not too far from each other – with others that flourish in a similar environment. In the Native American farming tradition the “three sisters” – corn, squash and beans – thrive when planted in the same mound, providing soil fertility and a healthy diet. This technique is called “companion” planting. I love that.
Where in your life are you forging along alone, maintaining your fierce independence when you could really benefit from the wisdom and contribution of others? Where are you too dependent on others, your beliefs or way of doing things and could benefit from strengthening your self-trust and exploring some new terrain?
4. Reap the harvest.
Summer is the time to appreciate what has come to fruition. Luxuriate in the sensuality and abundance of the season. Play in nature. Feel the warm caress of the sun on your skin. Feast your eyes on the explosion of color. Listen to the sounds, the birds, the quiet of what’s growing all around you. Taste, really taste, the food you eat. Bathe in the myriad shades of green.
Whether it’s growing the perfect strawberry or completing a project that you’re proud of, appreciate, celebrate and be generous in sharing your juiciness with others.
Be grateful for simple things. Do the happy dance!