I went out to water my garden. I use the word, garden, loosely.
It is a dog pen that the former owners built on the back of my garage.
I have repurposed it to be a tiny garden area just big enough for green beans, carrots, spinach, and if I am lucky a tomato plant. At a time when the entire world seems off-kilter, it has become my little 12 x 8-foot corner of happiness. I love to watch things grow. It gives me great joy to remind my husband that the tomato in his salad was grown by me!
The fence around it keeps the deer out, but the bunnies and gophers have no problem sliding under it to enjoy, what they believe to be, their personal delicacies. To stop them, I have built up rocks around the perimeter and adorned it with flags and brightly colored whirling flowers. This has worked well until now.
That morning as I happily walked through the garage and opened the door that leads directly into the garden my happiness was squelched. One day before, I had three pretty rows of green beans, some feathery carrot tops, and a row of radishes. The carrot tops and radishes had vanished and half a row of beans had morphed from a flourishing line of green to single sticks stripped of their leaves. I didn’t know if it had been a bunny or a gopher that had filled their tummy, but I was angry. I instantly began silently spewing unkind thoughts in my head about these little varmints. It takes A LOT to get me angry, but this did it. They had invaded my private sanctuary.
I watered what was left and headed out for my morning walk. The area where I live is quiet with sprawling lots and wide curving roads. Typically, this is a peaceful time for me, but I couldn’t get the vision of my pitiful garden out of my mind. It is amazing how anger can push movement. I walked faster and faster. And then, in the middle of the road, I had to dodge to the side to keep from stepping on the body of a little gopher. It startled me and my anger went to sadness.
I walked on thinking about how many times I had watched these little creatures’ jet across the road in front of a car, their tiny legs moving faster than seemed possible.
Not more than 15 minutes further on my walk it happened again. This time it was a bunny in the road. My heart sank. I will admit to being more partial to the bunnies than the gophers. I watch them in the spring do their Cirque du Soleil act and sunbathe in my yard. I delight in naming the new babies and watch for them to return the next year.
My walk became slower as I realized the same playful balls of cuteness that I love to watch are also the ones that moments earlier I was enraged at for eating my garden. The shock of seeing the lifeless bodies in the road as I walked also slapped me with reality.
Did I really believe that deep below the earth the bunnies huddled together to conspire against me and my garden?
Did I really believe that gophers were vindictive?
They do what animals (and humans) do- they dig holes to create a safe home for themselves and their families. They hunt and gather to find food for survival. They play and lay in the sunshine. They suffer accidents and loss.
When I sat down to write about this my anger had subsided. I had resolved to plant a few more seeds and salvage what was left of my garden.
As I typed I heard rumbling. The sky turned black opening to a lavish amount of rain and hail. Once again, I opened the door to my garden. The hail poured over my feet. What was left of my garden was now thrashed with more damage than any small animal could cause.
How simple our lives really are. We all want the same thing. To feel safe. To have food and shelter. To have someone to love and care for and love and care for us.
It is an uncomplicated formula.
At times it is easy to accomplish and we find ourselves feeling like a lucky bunny nibbling with joy in a field of fresh bean plants. At times life is difficult and we are slapped with the reality of uncertainty, fear, and loss. The trick is to accept and adapt to what we can’t control and be brave enough to start over.
Next year I will plant again.
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Pennie’s Life Lesson:
“Be brave enough to begin again.”
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Pennie Heart to Heart
I WILL PLANT AGAIN
My intent in sharing this with you is to encourage you to be brave enough to begin again.
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There is a certain magic about where I live both physically and spiritually – on the crossroads of Spirit and Brave.
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