Gardening Corner – Tomatoes, Butterflies and the Sacred

I had a dear friend pass away recently. She was one of the most amazing women I have known in my life. The list is long. Spiritual teacher, best friend, nature and animal lover. She was full of wonder, great story teller, adventurer. I could barely keep up with her on a hike. And, boy, did we love books and sharing food. She will always be my lox/bagel and Goodreads buddy!

We all have that sister friend in our lives, don’t we? Just a few that really walk their talk. That love us fully, no matter. They laugh and cry with us. They nurture us. Hold us. Unconditional love in manifest.

With all this said, in her dying, my doubts when she left took over. Her and I talked of her death. She was amazing to be open to that new journey she knew was coming. I would listen, be open, be ready to be with her in it all. We planned ceremonies and I was prepared. But, just like any birth and death story, we can not control the outcome. So, this grief was surprisingly different. I felt her and I were reading the same book but she took off with the ending, leaving me in darkness. I felt lost. Numb. Alone.

I tried tried to form these grand ceremonies we talked of. I mean, shouldn’t I be banging the drum and weeping in some grand gesture on my lawn for her? She would laugh pretty hard at this idea right now. I chuckle as well.

While all this is going on in me, I have been tending a potted garden on our patio. It is not anything grand and I am a novice gardener. Slowly learning to turn a brown thumb to green. Even though I am considered a “treehugger” fear would always keep me from attempting a garden, but for some reason I felt called to really give an effort this summer.

In the past month or so this garden experience has taken hold of my heart. I never knew the joy of having a garden. Now in the mornings I jump out of bed to go water, harvest and enjoy this quiet peace. When I come home from a long day of candle-making, instead of heading to the couch to collapse, I tend to the garden to harvest, water, and talk of the day to the tomatoes and the creatures that visit.

The garden has become so important in my daily life that I felt a calling to share more, here, in my blog. To my surprise, as I began writing on tomatoes and butterflies (in no way seeing it would be about my friend) the grieving tears began to stream down.

The garden all along has been the most magical, perfect ceremony possible in honoring my friend and our friendship. The “A’HA” moment strikes again. She is more then just a one time ceremony. She is here, daily, watching, laughing, enjoying the adventure with me. She is the butterfly that lands on my shoulder when I water and sing to the plants. The garden is full of wonder, spirituality, lessons, friendship, adventure, quiet connection, and celebration. The garden is alive and if I nurture it, water it, talk to it, spend time and care the connection just grows stronger bringing more fruit. My friend is there, all around with me in the garden. Our loved ones are with us guiding us and it takes nurturing and our own time to find our way through the doubt and grief in hopes to touch on faith.

I pass this on to you who is experiencing loss. It doesn’t make the missing hurt any less, but the garden slowly wakes us up to hope, to the sacred, to transition, to my friend, and to the Great Spirit. What an important lesson in this challenging time. I hope you find your garden in life and experience the faith and healing it can bring.

This is the garden lesson of the day. More to come! Off to eat some lox and bagel with an added tomato slice from the garden. In honor of you Kathleen.

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