Today is an exemplary fall day. The skies are bright blue with a few pale, wispy clouds. The temperature is a cool and comfortable 60 degrees. There’s a lazy wind bending tree branches this way and that. And the sun is casting long shadows over the pots on the deck filled with the remaining flowers of summer.
Autumn is a tricky time. While I love being able to tend to plants in the middle of a cool afternoon, I hate watching the petunias and geraniums fade. The shock of color from zinnias and marigolds sends me running for my camera, and yet I feel hesitant to engage, knowing that I’ll need to say goodbye to them soon.
I always get a little depressed when the flowers start to die back. They’re like children I’ve nurtured and cared for all summer long and I’m not ready to say goodbye.
This year I created a healing garden on our back deck. I filled it with vegetables, flowers, and statuary and it became a magical second home.
The energy and beauty of the plants and statues have inspired me. I’ve loved writing in this space. New succulent plants have been a source of surprise when unexpected flowers suddenly appear. And it’s been the perfect spot to hang with Michael and friends to enjoy great conversations.
This afternoon, while working on the deck, I thought about how a garden is a metaphor for life. We plant seeds, watch life grow, provide ongoing care, enjoy the fruits of our labor, and eventually come face-to-face with having to say goodbye.
I have a hard time finding the good in goodbyes.
I know life requires us to be present to everything – the success and sadness, the peace and pain. Learning to be with all of our feelings is fertilizer for growth and healing.
It’s just not that easy.
So today, as I appreciate this magical world I’ve cared for over the last few months, I do my best to stay with the joy and the sadness.
It’s a healing garden after all. And you can’t heal what you don’t feel.
P.S. – I’ll be talking about my latest book, Waking Up in Winter, at the Natural Living Expo in Marlborough, MA on November 11th and you can get tickets here. There are lots of workshops and fun holiday shopping!
P.P.S. – There will be no Facebook Live this week. You can watch past sessions on my YouTube channel at CherylRichardsonTV here.
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