Becoming a Steward of the Earth
IT’S SPRING!! Like a whole beautiful month into it. I don’t live in the northern part of the US, but I can still enjoy the new flowers blooming, all of the birds chirping while building their nests, the warm afternoon hugged by the cool mornings and nights.
Living in Florida I can grow food all year long, but the spring is especially fruitful. And it hit me the other day how wonderfully healing gardening is.
A garden not only allows you to grow your own food and save money in the process, but it also offers a variety of physical and mental benefits.
A garden gives you something to tend. to care for. to check up on.
The nurturing side of humans, I believe, is very important. Especially in the age we are currently living. We constantly rush, have pressure placed on us from others and ourselves, we stress, we worry, we become angry, hurt, exhausted. It is difficult for us to slow down and take care… of anything. Even when we do take the time to take care of our food or clean the house, or even taking care of our bodies, it somehow turns into a chore. Something that has to be done, not something you are thankful for the ability to be doing. It seems the only area in our “lives” that there is room for nurturing is when we have children. But what about those who don’t have children? What about those who can’t? Women are especially created to be nurturing, and we need to nurture that side of ourselves.
Waking up in the morning and checking on your seedlings, seeing if they’ve arisen from the ground. Checking the leaves for bugs that may harm it, or fungus that make kill it. Taking the time to water, talking to them to help them grow. Keeping a watchful eye on your little plants so that they may grow big and strong. This long, yet extremely rewarding process feeds not only our stomachs during the harvest, but our souls as well. You put your heart into your garden. As you tend your garden you also tending to and taking care of yourself.
A garden requires you to put yourself in the elements.
If you’re like most, you live in a city. You’re surrounded by buildings, concrete, cars, pollution, noise. You must drive far and long to achieve a state of peace and calmness. But in our fast paced society, many don’t have the time or resources to really take the time off of their normal life and go do something in nature.
With a garden, you have managed to create your own little space of peace. You may still be surrounded by other houses or buildings, but in this space, you have brought nature and made it fit into your home. You are then able to experience the sun on your face, back, and shoulders. You can feel the wind brushing across your cheeks, filling you with gratitude. The scents of the flowers and trees that rush into your lungs, expanding your body and breath until you are at peace with yourself and your life.
You are cooped inside for probably 90% of your life and being outside in the fresh air is extremely beneficial for your physical health; increases brain function, raises vitamin D levels, reduces stress, reduces inflammation, fights fatigue, boosts immune system, protects eye health, etc.. There is scientific proof that being in the fresh air, surrounded by plants can help you live a happier and longer life.
A garden demands your thoughts.
We all have things we are worrying about, struggling with, suffering for. No one has a perfect life, and too often these feelings can consume us until it’s all we can think about. It can be hard some days to distract yourself, and many people use mind-numbing devices and activities to forget. Drinking, TV, phone, social media, drugs. None of which actually offer any benefit to you and your healing. Having a garden is an activity that benefits not only your body, but also your mental and emotional health. You are forced to forget, even just for a little bit, about your troubles. And you can let yourself be consumed with the joy of taking care of something. of nurturing.
I am no master gardener, I am only in my mere second season of growing. And while it can be sometimes difficult or disappointing, remember that these too are all part of the cycle of life. You must make mistakes to learn from, you must go through the motions to have a grasp on what it is you are trying to accomplish.
So if you have ever dreamed of having a garden, or even if you haven’t until now, I urge you to take that leap. Even if it’s just one pot with one tomato plant. Pour your heart into it, and feed it with the love and attention that all of us crave.
Wishing you a beautiful day, and that you are taking the steps to become a WellSpring of Life.