Teaching Now: The Food Garden
This spring, the food garden has emerged as my most recent teacher of Freedom.
Slow-growing seedlings, bolting plants, sun-burnt “sun lovers”, hungry birds and baby grasshoppers, alphids and slugs are offering plenty of stimulus to question enslaving unhappy beliefs and patterns. And for all the effort I’ve put into building this garden since last fall, I decided that suffering and pushing were not worth it. It is true that I’ve been very diligent at composting all kinds of waste from my home, creating multiple planting beds rich with nutrients, sowing a large variety of seeds, starting and caring for little plants, watering and weeding every day, building greenhouses, keeping wind barriers, and moving pots in and out to temper everyone on their way outside… But there is something wrong with thoughts like
Grow damn it, grow!,
Stupid cold streak, and
Damn bugs and birds eating my plants!… All these stressful thoughts argue with reality and make me very unhappy!
So I decided to be happy with what I get. Whatever grows, great. Whatever pace is perfect. If plants bolt, welcome seeds. If they get eaten (and I can’t catch the perpetrators), enjoy. I decided to trust nature and the balance of the ecosystem in my backyard. Decided to accept my part as the human element in this system; do my work, share its fruit, and trust that I’ll get to enjoy some too. And as I indulged in the easiness of these thoughts while watering my plants, a little voice in my ear told me, perhaps now, because I’m letting go, my garden will grow abundantly. Regardless, I’m already enjoying it every single day.
I think next week my foraging trips to the backyard will include strawberries and peas!