I began clearing up the flower beds and winter is the most suitable time to do that. Here in the Mediterranean, under a more or less bright sun, this task does not seem like a task at all. I dug up the beds, cleared the weeds and checked the soil. This is such an important task to do. Very often, we simply let the old stuff rot, hoping that at one point it will turn to mulch, which it will, eventually. But clearing space and checking the fundaments is almost like preparing the soul for a re-birth. And the great thing is that we get to do this every year, in the garden and within us.
As I cleared the beds, I removed flowers and plants that once were beautiful and thriving and had now turned to brown debris. Death came, very efficiently, as it always does, and with a sweeping hand turned the beauties into drab dead plants. As gardeners we are blessed that we can observe this life, death, life cycle in the most profound way through our gardens. I held a forlorn cosmos that had once bloomed in brilliant pinks and whites. I was reminded of the delicate phlox as it waved happily under a summer sun. I cut back dahlias, now brown and dead. And as I did, I sang for the earth to renew, I prayed for life to come back. And below the soil, something stirred, not because of me but because that is how the universe works. As we mourn the loss, deep within the earth, earthworms shift a little and all the micro-organisms prepare the soil to receive. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.
I held a handful of soil in my hand, now cold and clammy, but I could feel the promise it holds. There within the palm of my hand I held the biggest promise the universe could give. That of renewal and re-birth. Of new beginnings. If we choose to look. I prepared one flower bed, made the soil receptive, checked what was missing, what needed to be added, which is manure most of the time. And sand for the trenches that will once cup the bulky tulip bulbs. I soaked the ranunculus corms, their shrivelled tiny octopus-like tentacles plumping up before planting. There was so much joy to behold these corms and anticipate the flowers that are waiting to emerge. And as I did so, a wave of gratitude filled my heart, for being allowed to be a part of this process, for being allowed to be a witness in the glorious way of the universe.
I have started a new vlog “Transformation & Awakening”, which follows my gardening journey. Join me in celebrating life in the greatest way possible, through celebrating nature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDW0VxTkwXY
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