Mother Teresa once said, “Love begins at home. It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in that action.” If we cannot bring love from the opening moments of each endeavor, the result will never be as brilliant. I have also observed that there is this very same direct connection between what is going on in my garden, and what is going on in my life.
One morning, I was clipping the wilted and dried leaves from a very small plant that was in an extremely large container. It had once been vibrantly green and healthy, but what remained was only a few small leaves and a lot of spindly dry sticks. I thought, “How much longer can I offer food, and water, and love, and attention with no results? It seems that I am putting in much more than you are giving back.” I see my garden in terms of an energy exchange between the plants and myself. I stood up and said, “Now you are compost.” And that’s when it hit me; life can be just like that.
During the same period of time, I was working as a designer at a small garden center and had a growing concern that there was a problem with the cash flow of the business. At times, there was no money left to pay bills or the employees. Every day seemed to be filled with stress and worry. I would race to the bank to cash my check each week, hoping to be there first before the money ran out. I knew things had to change, but I couldn’t just toss my job on the compost heap, expecting that everything would be okay. Being a single mom meant I was responsible for the well-being of my children, as well as myself. But I also knew I could no longer thrive in a situation that returned so little. I needed to admit that for me, the job was over. It took courage to let it go, but I did.
All relationships need a balance between giving and receiving. It’s not always easy for things to change, but sometimes they must in order to make way for something better. Because of my experience at the garden center, I struck out on my own and started a landscaping company that would reflect my values and operate with integrity. I now have the opportunity to make sure my clients receive services that exceed their expectations. I am careful with the financial health of my business, but more importantly, I learned that by giving my time and focused attention to each project. I receive great satisfaction knowing I have done my best.
from my new book, The Seventh Season: Wisdom from the Garden of Life
remember, goodness grows,