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Gardening is Therapy

Posted by Val Fox on July 20, 2014 at 5:30 PM




This year has been emotionally challenging in some ways and I forgot that fact earlier as I chastised myself for not being more productive. I forgot that I had written a story in May and it was published in July, or that I was studying for tough editing exams to become certified. Self-criticism rarely inspires and will often skew the truth. I find the truth when I stop thinking and dig in the garden.



When we say "you should be.." we often forget all the other things that steal our attention each day, many of them unplanned events such as vehicle breakdowns or sudden illness. This is not to be confused with making excuses for doing nothing. I'm talking about events that affect our usual routines or mind-set. The garden's colours can help us feel grateful.


When I hit my forehead with the palm of my hand, saying "I forgot, again!" or I see a typo in my writing, I forget that three children demand my attention - the second set of kids I've raised. It escapes me that three sisters-in-law have died in the last six months and that one of our beloved dogs was run over. The garden's moist earth wafts a grounding fragrance and I discover that I'm grieving.



When our son rolled the truck, breaking his leg and pelvis, the garden got neglected. The flashing police lights were frightening but I remained calm and observant. When the fear feelings came, the garden offered a place to catch my tears. Others have claimed this too. A garden grows newness.


Living in the trailer (RV) was fun for several weeks, after much of our furniture was destroyed and we had to live out of boxes. The kids and I have slept soundly in the fresh night air, carressed by the fragrance of petunias, peonies and lilac.


We all have our share of life's bumps, some more than others. We hear tragic stories on electronic devices or share in the sorrows of family and friends. Some of the garden's plants are living memoriums to lost loved ones; they call forth happy memories.


The sight, feel and scent of a garden's treasures will always invite us to a place of wonder in the middle of life's stresses. When we allow its energy to comfort and amaze us, our turmoil eases, gratitude grows and our creativity is stimulated.


Thanks for visiting, everyone. The next post will feature scenes from last weekend's Kainai Nation Pow Wow in Southern Alberta. See you soon!



Categories: Writing/Photography

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This is the personal website of writer Val Fox from Alberta, Canada: soon-to-be published author; freelance writer/editor; ghost writer; animal and child advocate; amateur photographer and avid camper.  Welcome!


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