It’s a time of creative unfolding, both for myself and my garden.
For those of you who have been following for a while, you know that my garden’s growth path is tightly intertwined with my own. She leads patiently, I follow. By teaching me to nurture her, she nurtures me. By nudging me to slow down, pay attention, and trust, she deepens my mindfulness practice.
This spring she has reminded me once again of her greatest power: my garden can withstand neglect, trauma, and loss and come out better on the other side. She’s a great role model in that regard.
If you have read my book Blooming into Mindfulness: How the Universe Used a Garden, Cancer, and Carpools to Teach Me That Calm Is the New Happy, you will have heard about some earlier periods of neglect that my garden overcame—most notably in 2009 when I was undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Though my garden suffered from neglect during my “cancer year,” that was a cakewalk for her compared to what she faced when we brought our golden retriever puppy home in April 2015. Apollo is the third dog we’ve raised but the first one with a penchant for plant eating, not to mention digging, root ball chewing, and indiscriminate pruning.
But after a winter of planning and plotting, the puppy barrier systems we’ve erected have done their job. The garden is back in action. A friend suggested “Phoenix Garden” as an appropriate moniker, and I couldn’t agree more. She (the garden) has once again risen from the ashes.
To celebrate, I’ll be starting a new 30-day photo challenge tomorrow, July 1st. I’ll post the photos on my Facebook Martha Brettschneider Writer-Photographer page. I’d love for you to join me! So if you haven’t done so already, please “like” my page and sign up for notifications to remind you to share your photos.
As always, my photo challenges are low key, no experience necessary, just a fun exercise in connecting and sharing our visions of the world and moments of mindfulness that day. It’s also a fun way to practice habit formation, a skill you can then apply to other areas of your life. If you can do all 30 days, great! But if you just want to jump in and out, that’s fine too.
I’ll leave you with some before and after garden photos. The dahlias won’t be blooming for another few weeks, but we’ve got the momentum going!
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