Tending the Garden of Life

Novice gardeners often claim wilting plants on inexperience, weather conditions, or being born without a “green thumb.”

An expert gardener will tell you that limited experience, extreme heat, and inconsistent watering routines matter less than we think.

The key to a thriving garden is nutrient-rich soil. Healthy soil prevents disease and supports long-term growth.

One of my favorite hobbies is gardening. Despite living in an arid environment where leaves fry to a crisp before produce has the chance to fully mature, I enjoy scooping up fresh soil in my palms and (sometimes) plucking miniature eggplants from the vine.

As I plan out my tiny fall garden, I’ve been thinking about the importance of healthy soil. If the environmental conditions aren’t right, those overpriced organic seedlings don’t stand a chance. So, I research and I contemplate how I can ensure the perfect balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

I realize that the same principles and processes hold true for life. Our trajectory is shaped by our home life, our relationships, our work, and out habits. We are shaped by our environment and supported by the nutrients of love, fulfillment, along with the minerals in our food.

If we don’t surround ourselves with healthy soil, we risk being plagued by disease and conceding to stunted growth.

As a gardener, I am responsible for tending my garden. When I plant a seed, I take on a maternal role and commit my focus to drawing life out of a hardened shell. I provide soil, sunlight, and water. I practice patience and compassion as the small seedlings exert every effort to establish roots.

The garden of one’s life is less tangible. We can’t cup the seed of our soul in our palm, nor bury it gingerly in dark dampness under controlled lighting. It’s less obvious when our soul begin to emerge from the darkness, slowly unfurling its fragile leaves, and bursting into bloom.

Yet, we owe ourselves the same level of care and compassion that we show our plants. We must notice when the tips of our leaves begin turning yellow or brown, and adjust our habits accordingly. We should surround ourselves with companions that offer what we lack. We need to plant ourselves in nutrient-rich soil, unafraid to dirty our hands.

I am the gardener of my life, responsible for tending to my physical body and my soul, and have every tool necessary to ensure my own thriving.

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