I am back to growing things and feeling the inexplicable joy that comes with it. Thankfully, I not only share this passion with my grown daughter but also with a soul friend. Together, the three of us are squealing over seedlings and sighing over successes. We mourn the loss of the plant the way we would mourn the loss of a friend. And, newcomers are placed into their new ‘digs’ with much reverence and hope.
We were chatting this morning about our joy over our new shared gardening adventures, along with our excitement over new tools to prepare our raw, healthy meals (we share the Unchained Spirit lifestyle as well). As I usually do, I described my feeling about growing plants from seeds by saying I feel like a five-year-old, in awe of the magic and power within one seed. But, it’s more than that.
We grab food at the market and don’t realize it isn’t food at all. In fact, I know someone who will only eat those perfectly-formed, unmarred tomatoes from the market, because these are what tomatoes have come to be for many. Give me that bumpy, scarred, striped, weird-looking heirloom tomato any day, over the gassed, fake, tomato-like-object. I know what tomatoes tasted like fresh and warm from the garden, and I will settle for no less.
There is a primal connection to world around us, that we tend to lose in our fast-paced, internet-connected world. Growing a garden requires patience and nurturing. The world slows down when you garden, and you must wait for nature to take its course. You see tiny changes each day, if you stop to look for them. You can hear hummingbird wings and bees buzzing too, if you listen beyond the sounds of traffic. Like the soul-response to the ocean, its size and its sounds and its smells, my soul sings in the garden, and my roots flourish. We watched one honeybee enjoy the drips of water from a window box the other day, but we would have missed it if we hadn’t slowed down to be in that moment.
It is the same with eating raw, or almost raw, food and drinking healthy herbal teas or lemon-infused water. You slow down, as you select your ingredients and plan your meal. You slow down, as you prepare your food, and feel connected to the rain and sun and soil that grew it. You slow down to focus on all the things within your meal that will nourish and heal you. You relish the tastes and textures, different in each bite. And, you never feel deprived, because this is real food, and it’s as beautiful and rich as you could want.
It is also the same with living a life with an unchained spirit. So many of us live for the weekend and try to fit an entire life within those two days. We spend so much time getting places, we forget to live in those moments as well. But, moments come and go, and are lost to us forever, if we don’t slow them down and plant seeds of joy along the way. It’s in the planting that we can find joy, as well as when those seeds sprout. It’s in the tending of the dream, as well as in its coming true. It’s even in the sorrow, that we can find joy sprouting, as we remember and share those memories with others. And, it’s in the preparation of a meal, as well as the mindful enjoyment of it, that we find nourishment and renewal.
Stop today to plants seeds around you and within you. Nurture them, tend them, prune them, and harvest them, and dance with joy as you do.