How Does Your Garden Grow?

March 25, 2014

Spring is here.  What a beautiful natural way of reminding us of the cycle of life.  Old growth still present, soon returning to the earth with warming temperatures nurturing new life set to build on the foundation of all that came before it.

 New buds are on trees and small spikes of green emerging from soil showing their grandest efforts to join our world.  Take the time to think about all that needs to happen just to reach this stage.  Soil surrounding the seed requires warmth to activate minerals and nutrients, it needs to allow oxygen to seep in, water to saturate and carry even more nourishment.  With all this support, it is important to remember that tiny seed must utilize all of this “help” all on its own to create its own beautiful life.  Reminds me of grieving individuals.  All going through Spring, all growing at their own pace.

Every living thing is so unique

Seeds need to be planted at different depths to feel rooted, nourished, and energized by its surroundings is different for each one.  Every grieving person needs a different amount of interaction, support, and attention from our environment.

 Grace, Grace, and more Grace

 Show grace towards me

Like tiny seeds, we may look similar on the outside but are so unique inside.  When I think of myself and my sister, I’m a Shasta Daisy, she’s an Echinacea flower.  Echinacea seeds thrive planted at a 1”, slowly reaching its height with a steady mix of both full and partial sun. Where a Shasta Daisy only wants to be planted at 1/8”, growing fast, yet not as tall, requiring full sunlight.  Both losing a father, we needed different amounts of care from our environment.  I found my safe haven in my extended family while her young school friends supplied the best nourishment for her.  My friends may have been concerned about my lack of interaction with them, but I sought what I needed from those who would supply it best for me.  After some time I opened up to what my friends had to offer.

At different stages grievers require different people.

Not like a changing of the guards, I didn’t ever need to replace their support but open up to allow more people.  It takes an enormous amount of energy for a “seed” to convert its environment into something beautiful so give grieving people the grace of time.  Grief work is exhausting to say the least!

Have grace for myself

I needed to give myself grace.  There is something so wonderful about being comfortable with whom you are, that what you are doing for yourself at that moment is the right thing to be doing.  Having people around you that understand this and feel the same way about their own involvement is all that grieving people ask for.

The serenity of understanding “Just be there.  I’ll pull as much as I need from you.  That is all.”

Have grace for those helping me

Not every person I love is a gardener, I’ve heard all sorts of inappropriate things coming from my community.  Return that good grace back to them with an open mind that they probably have no idea what they are doing, overwatering, forgetting to weed, pouring on fertilizer at wrong times of the year.

Not everyone is born knowing what to do so throw expectations out the window, surround yourself with love sit back and let it be.



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Written by Anita Engel » more posts

Anita was born in Burlington, Ontario, the third of five girls. Her family moved from Ontario in 1973 to be closer to extended family living in the Okanagan. She is married to Cal and they have two grown children, Matthew and Corinne. Anita is part of our office staff, and in her spare time enjoys traveling and spending time with family.