A couple years ago when I parted ways with my longtime corporate career, I had a huge amount of new found space in my life. Not only was my calendar clear, so was my head, my ego and my agenda. I literally had no plans or aspirations and it was a scary feeling. Thankfully, it was beautiful fall weather and I decided to create a new perennial bed in my front lawn.
A lone, scraggly lilac bush stood in the area by the curving walkway to the front door. I began fervently digging up clumps of crab-grass in order to make room for new plants. I didn’t plan or design the space, I just wanted to be busy and not focus on getting my life in order. The garden became a metaphor for where I was at the time; unplanned, uprooted, and not sure what was going to take hold or even blossom.
I moved perennials from my backyard to this new space as well as buying some bargain bin plants at the local nursery. I hastily shoved root balls into the hard ground and shoveled dirt on top, ready for the garden to be up and blooming soon. I needed some type of movement in my life, I was counting on these plants.
Fall turned into winter and the plants began to die back for the season. The space now just looked like a big patch of ugly lawn that someone had haphazardly taken a shovel to. The weather eventually killed any sign of green and I began to regret what I had done. I didn’t think it would ever recover.
The following season, to my surprise, most of the perennials came back. Not big and strong like I had envisioned, but they survived. I enjoyed a couple coneflowers and my little rosebush gave out more blossoms in it’s new home than before. Again in the fall, I covered the new bed with dried leaves and let it rest while I went about my business of still trying to figure out my life.
This spring, just as things in my life are really beginning to take root and put forth lots of new growth, so is my garden! The little lilac is now a sweet smelling large shrub, the yellow rose has about 100 buds on it, and the other perennials are thick and lush! Everything has filled in so nicely and evenly, it’s hard to believe this was once a bare plot of land I had created out of nothing.
It reminds me that when things seem slow or empty to not be in such a big hurry to fill them up. To not cram our schedules full of appointments so we leave no room for spontaneity. To leave space and room for things to happen naturally, in their own time, without being crowded out by our own plans.