Gardening has long been celebrated for its potential to alter mood, improve health, and ease at growers closer to nature. Though these attributes are considered true by many; this does not mean, however, that the growing process is without trial, stress, and disappointment.
It wasn’t until I began exploring the “larger picture” in my own garden that I was able to truly appreciate and be grateful for each growing season and the harvest that came with it.
Grateful for Each Growing Season
As a beginner gardener, I frequently found myself worrying about the ever-growing list of chores and tasks which needed to be completed. As if overnight, the weeds had doubled in size and the roses were covered with aphids. With so many types of pests and diseases with which to contend, I was quickly discouraged and often felt overwhelmed. As my garden continued to expand, so too, did my list of worries. How could I find more space for planting? Did my newest planting location get enough direct sun?
Adapting to the conditions within my garden, and adjusting my overall outlook, took several seasons. While understanding more about the struggles related to my space did impact my growing ability, it was also key in learning to accept the things which I simply could not change. I was able to see things differently, developing a greater appreciation for the growing process as a whole.
This newly found gratitude for the garden not only changed my perspective, but also increased my own feelings of contentment and satisfaction with my hobby.
Becoming a Grateful Gardener
I became most thankful for the garden ecosystem which I had been able to help create. As pollinators bounced from one flower to another, I was filled with excitement. More than anything, I was eager to sit in my favorite chair and watch quietly – hoping to encounter seldom seen species of insects and birds.
Gratitude for the garden space has also developed from the discovery of my own self. Peaceful, reflective periods spent working outdoors have helped me to develop a greater appreciation for time and the natural cycle of the seasons. In allowing myself to clear my mind and experience the world through all five senses, I often feel as if I am able to think more clearly and continue throughout my day with intention.
Above all else, my garden allows me to appreciate the beauty which surrounds us all. From the tiniest of seeds, I am continuously amazed as plants set fruit and provide for my family. Each time I work the soil, I am reminded of the potential for growth and the creation of something which is truly beautiful. I find good in the garden, even among the weeds.