As the Wheel of the Year turns and harvest time is here, The Peace Garden continues to teach it's lessons. While there is still time for growing and harvesting, I've learned a few things so far. I would like to expand on these thoughts later.
1. Gardens require constant care and so do we. Gardens need water, good fertilizer, sunshine, weeding, pruning, and attention. We are the same. Self-care is so important, especially if you have a chronic illness.
2. When unattended, gardens can become overrun and diseased. Fruits and veggies over ripen and turn bad on the vine. Again, when we don't practice self-care and take good care of our health, we become more susceptible to illness and flare-ups.
3. Harvest and prune often. They encourage plants to grow and produce. When we focus on the simple things and embrace change, we can allow our lives and hearts to grow and receive more blessings.
4. Sometimes plants fail - due to weather or pests - for reasons out of your control. We go through troubles and trials that we can't prevent. We might become sick regardless of a healthy lifestyle or an accident. It's part of the cycle of life. It's natural.
5. Every fruit and veggie is different from the last. Natural harvests are unique. Each tomato may be a bit bigger and smaller or maybe redder or yellower than the last. But both can be yummy and delicious.
6. Smaller can be better. Smaller gardens allow us to really focus and be mindful of each plant how it grows and changes. Also, smaller amounts of crops can be either to use up without waste.
7. Freshly harvests crops are more flavorful than artificial or store bought ones. No preservatives necessary.
8. Variety is the spice of life. After a harvest, we often have more than enough crops left over. We can use various recipes and storage methods to keep them. Try and experiment with different techniques.
9. Gardening is a lifestyle and so is self-care. It becomes part of your everyone - part of your core. In my part of South Jersey, almost everyone I know grows some kind of veggie (at least tomatoes) or lives next to a farm and buys direct from the side of the road farm stands. It's part of our blood and heritage. We can create healthy rituals that honor our lives too.
10. The wisdom of the earth and emotions is learned through experience and trial. As we grow and succeed/fail, we learn and grow - becoming more complete and whole.