I have a house in Brattleboro, Vermont. I rent out two of the rooms to graduate students, and keep a room for myself. Last summer, my tenants and I planted a garden and had an abundant harvest throughout the summer and well into the late fall. I recall going there late in November, and finding kale and collards peeking through a foot of snow, still thriving, ready to be picked.
July 4, 2009
Weeding the garden always seemed to be my job, and whenever I was in Vermont, I’d spend several hours in the garden enjoying the bounty and, of course, weeding. Fortunately there was sufficient rainfall last summer that it didn’t matter that my attempts to hook up an irrigation system failed. The garden thrived anyway.
This year everything was different. Things got in the way. I wasn’t able to clear my cluttered calendar to spend time in Vermont at all except for couple of days during Memorial Day weekend. I purchased some seedlings at the Brattleboro Farmer’s Market and planted them among some of the tomatoes and basil my tenants had planted.
Eight weeks later I returned for a weekend. When I saw my garden for the first time in almost 2 months, I was aghast! The weeds had grown to new heights, surpassed only by a few sunflowers that emerged from seeds dispersed last year. All I could see were the weeds… unwanted, invasive, overwhelming.
My Garden One Year Later
July 22, 2010
I was paralyzed. I resisted. I couldn’t imagine how much time and effort it would take to clear the weeds. I couldn’t even recognize the beauty of nature’s life force.
After lamenting about my negligence, about the drought, and about the hardiness of the weeds in the hot dry summer, I realized that I needed an attitude adjustment. It was time to embrace the weeds.
I went back to examine my garden. Making my way through my backyard jungle, I discovered some gems in the weed clutter – lettuce, Swiss chard, tomatoes, basil, leeks, kale – that not only survived but were thriving in spite of the neglect.
So I sat down in the delicious breeze and rested my eyes on my Garden of Weedin’. It actually started to look beautiful as I released the resistance, inner conflict and guilt, and began to embrace the weeds. With this attitude adjustment, I began to see the weeds as a metaphor for my own need for finding clarity amid my internal clutter and resistance.
Sometimes all it takes to make the weeds in our lives more tolerable is acceptance. By accepting their existence and embracing their life force, we can then release the resistance and no longer feel paralyzed by their presence.
Marilyn Chiarello, founder of A Taste of Light, is a certified raw vegan chef,educator and health coach. She offers a variety of services including health coaching, classes, dinner parties, consultations and presentations. For more information, visit aTasteofLight.com or contact her directly – Marilyn@aTasteofLight.com or 516-671-7037.
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