I have always savored the three-tiered layered tray with delicate crust-cut sandwiches, warmed scones with clotted cream and petit fours that make up the classic Afternoon Tea. It was utterly delightful to have just discovered the origin of this wonderful culinary offering.
When I was in my twenties I traipsed around the world. My younger self embraced the opportunity to travel and document the work of a non profit. It was on these jaunts that I started to observe and absorb the nuances of culture in the regions we traversed.
I love to garden. It started in my mid-forties and I prefer not to tell you how long ago that was. 😊 It began with scarlet red geraniums like the ones you see spilling out of deep blue pottery in pictures of rural France. Then I started adding milkweed and nectar plants for my monarch butterflies. The greatest mistake I’ve made gardening is planting trees too close to the perimeter. I am always fighting their roots systems when I add new plants. I have found the most satisfying aspect of gardening is the inspiring motifs that I can glean.
WEEDS A Perpetual Source Of Inspiration
A weed is described as a plant growing profusely where it is not wanted. Removing it from where it’s unwanted poses many challenges. Herbicides are most people’s preferred method of choice to kill weeds because of the ease of simply spraying them. However, almost every herbicide, including Roundup, contains the chemical glyphosate. Glyphosate has a potential link to cancer.
The alternative method of killing weeds is to use Organic products that are low in toxicity. But the most safest way to remove them is done on your hands and knees one weed at a time, a must in the Butterfly garden as all herbicides are toxic to caterpillars and butterflies. The all natural way of pulling weeds is a constant source of inspiration.
Nature teaches me the most, through the process of weeding. Hand pulling weeds is time consuming compared to fast acting chemical herbicides but manual removal has zero toxicity. It makes me wonder what short cuts that I might be taking in my life because I am unwilling to do the hard work. Could a quicker, easier method ultimately end up being destructive? This metaphor of taking the longer path helps ease some of my own personal journey.
Weeding works best when it has just rained. A storm makes the soil pliable and the weeds pull out easily. Perhaps the storms of life help us wrestle with deep seeded issues. Could troubles make me more open to change, to be molded and shaped differently? Should I welcome some of the harder times to achieve more wholeness?
Over grown weeds will choke out all other plants. Weeding remind us that things in our life can creep up and take over if we don’t stay on guard. Be ever watchful that thoughts don’t become unseemly actions. We must be ever vigilant in what we allow our minds to dwell on as unhealthy thoughts can eventually dominate our lives. Sometimes we need hand tools to get to the root of weed just like we made need professional assistance to deal with some issues in our life. Every weed I pull is an allegory to destructive thinking and behavior. We must daily and consistently work on pulling unhealthy thinking patterns out of our life just like we to have to daily continue to pull weeds so they don’t take over. The correlation between the undesirable in my garden and my mind is undeniable.
Fertilizing is another act of gardening that I can draw insight from. Chemical fertilizers works very well but do nothing to sustain soil and may result in a toxic buildup. So I chose an organic fertilizer over a chemical one.
I am reminded that I too must truly seek the right factors in my own life to grow stronger. Although something at first glance may appear to promote growth, a closer look proves there are some corruptible elements like in the synthetic fertilizer.
THE THREE Ps
Do you have any idea what leaves do…Photosynthesis! Those green leaves that grace every stem take sunrays and do a dance to create fuel to make the whole plant thrive. The “sunlight” that feeds me are bible passages, a combination of vowels and consonants inspired by God that speaks life into me.
Wisdom from on high, the precepts and proverbs, the lessons of David, Abraham, Matthew and John, parables and miracles all of it is used to teach me, set me straight so that I MAY PROSPER. I prosper in my soul, not necessarily in my pocket book, my soul, my relationships, my engaged life, my time as a sojourner in this life
The role of the bumblebee is to pollinate. He visits blossoms and spreads the pollen from one part of the plant to another, so they will make fruit. Their feat is majestic, their product sweet.
They go about doing what they do best, what they were created for. What am I created for? What harvest am I reaping with my activities?
Pruning gives deep inspiration. The gardener must prune the branches to produce fruit. Every season I carefully prune shrubs and cut back plants. The unruly growth and lack of fruit can only be rectified by pruning.
Pruning determines where branching will occur rather than controlling size or shape. The same is true in our own lives. In what direction am I growing? I must remove certain things in my life in order to flourish.
Inspired to Thrive
I hope the next time you dig into your garden you will be inspired to see the process in a new light. You too can receive life lessons from the simple acts of weeding, pruning and fertilizing. May the process of photosynthesis and the beautiful bumblebee provide you insight. A green thumb will inspire you to thrive.