The Tenacity of Life

 The CBC just asked for letters outlining the meaning the garden has for us. Ahh, my favourite topic. My garden’s meaning is three fold. I am a counsellor and the garden has served me many times, building rapport with clients who feel, as I do, immediately relaxed and calm in the diverse natural beauty. Sometimes it’s a moment on the balcony overlooking the lush ravine to the sparkling creek. Sometimes it is a whole session in amongst the living walls. Often it is a quiet swing in the hammock chair, watching the kids run around and play at the park or even the antics of the twitterpated squirrels. Disney style I sing to the birds and they sing back. The energy in the garden is like the welcoming shelter of arms that love you.

Second it has always amazed and connected me to the miracle and tenacity of life. I spent a lot of time here when my Mom was gravely ill. I spent nearly every waking hour for 6 weeks hanging around ICU, surgery, recovery and bedside. I needed the respite of the garden to remind me that life has a drive and force of its own for itself. Every sunny and nutritious dandilion in the gravel pile, every violet that grows from the patio pavers reminds me of that. It was an enormous comfort to me that such a global, omnipotent, tenacious force was also on the job. Although I felt small I never felt insignificant. If those plants could beat the odds, so could my Mom. Life is often so assertive, I feel there are plants I wouldn’t choose but must respect for their diligence in overwelmingly hostile enrivonments. Who am I to weed them out? I never get tired no matter how long I work in the garden. There is an exchange of energy that always leaves me with more than I spend and certainly more than I brought in. Finally, the garden gives me hope for mankind on this planet. I often feel despair for the collection of governments that represent greed and cruelty. It is easy to see those missplaced and dangerous souls like a voracious, insatiable invader to my garden that propagates prolifically and sends out underground runners so the damage to the naturally beautiful, diverse and balanced garden is accomplished in covert fashion. Native species are left without a habitat altogether. But my yard is tended, albeit with a heavy portion of the work left to nature. My backyard plot though small, would sustain me and my family if called upon to. The life that grows there now would embrace me too. I have confidence in the land and the field in which it lives. The field called life. This awesome power to sustain and give hope is far greater than what man can do. It is a power we can all connect to just by feeling the green earth underfoot. Take a deep breathe in and let it all out with a sigh.

(Read on CBC May 19)



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