I have spent the past three years gardening, confiding my secrets to the great outdoors. It taught me about far more than the different kinds of flowers and how to care from them.
Through gardening, I realized humans are just complicated plants.
I’ve learned so much truth from Mother Nature and her behavior as the seasons change from warm to cold. She’s taught me about persistence and told me that it’s okay to go slow at first. She also assured me that it’s okay to stop what I’m doing and “sleep” for a while.
Every living thing deserves a break.
Here are five useful lessons I learned out in my garden.
If I must be rooted, plant my feet in rich soil, let my womanly flesh harden to bark, and let my limbs, robust in sleeves of evergreen, keep reaching for the sun.-Jane Elle Glasser
1- Flowers Don’t Compete
Don’t ask me what the most beautiful flower was that I ever found in my garden; I wouldn’t have a response. Watching them blossom and spread out before me, I can’t say one has smoother petals or a nicer color.
Flowers are beautiful in their own way. They are content with what they are, and pay no heed to their neighbors’ looks.
Humans could learn this trick, too: we would be happy if we stopped competing with our neighbors for things—beauty, riches, fame…
2- Flowers Rest
We humans always feel like we ought to be busy. If we aren’t working on chores or doing extra hours at work, a little voice tells us that we aren’t contributing as citizens.
In short, we feel useless.
Flowers have no such fear. They bloom when their time comes, and then peacefully bow their heads when it’s time to rest again. Perhaps next year they’ll return; perhaps not. They aren’t doing this for us.
Flowers don’t grow all year for our delight. They grow when spring comes around because that’s what they were meant to do. When it’s time to die, they don’t protest.
Were we humans not also meant to rest?
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.Philippians 1:21, NASB
3- Flowers Let Go
Some flowers continue to grow back on their own, year after year. This is called reseeding. They drop seeds when their time is through one year. When spring returns a few months later, you’ll find that they have spread out and taken life on their own.
In other words, you could leave certain flowers on their own and you’d still have a garden growing come spring!
However, this would not be possible if they hadn’t first died and dried out. Could we not use this tactic, ourselves? What beauty would result if we allowed a struggle to change us?
4- Flowers are Patient
Can you imagine the patience it must take to be planted underground?
A human might be restless to see herself fully grown. We are anxious during our diets to achieve our weight goal. This even applies to online shopping; once we order something in the mail, we can’t wait to receive it.
Flowers have to wait for everything, and they do so without complaint. After they’ve poked up through the dirt, they emerge as tiny seedlings; these seedlings take weeks to grow into something that’ll produce flowers.
Flowers know how to wait. Why don’t we?
5- Flowers Welcome Rain
No one knows the benefit of a good rainstorm more than a flower. While the rest of us vanish into our houses, the seedlings outside the window are cheering on the coming thunderstorm.
They know that a bit of rain and bad weather will help them grow lovely and strong.
How do we deal with rain in our everyday lives? Much of the time, we don’t. We pretend certain problems will go away on their own, instead of dealing with them head-on. We miss the opportunity such struggles offer to help us grow.
Let us strive to be like the flower, never passing up an opportunity to grow and thrive. We’ll stand taller and our stems will be stronger, able to surpass any storm that might assault us later.
You might find more wisdom out in your garden than you would in the pages of a book. Being a writer, I would not say this if I didn’t feel it to be true. Their silent lessons prepare us for the long winters of life.
I can’t wait to look back on my history as a gardener and ponder on the things I learned while watering a seedling.
Share this with someone who enjoys gardening!