Seeds in the Soul Garden

Recently, I stumbled on a social media post talking about how you shouldn’t tear out seeds before they are given a chance to grow. This struck a chord with me. The idea is so simple and the thought of new endeavors as seeds so perfect that I wanted to spend more time with it.

Have you ever taken a moment to look at a truly beautiful garden? Flowers and plants grow together in ways that both surprise and delight. Accent pieces and sculptures glisten among the flowers, drawing the eye and telling their own stories. There’s a magic flowing through the space that invites the viewer to slow down and breathe.

Now I want you to imagine all your hopes, dreams, and goals; all your accomplishments; and all your failures are represented as a garden. What does your garden look like? Are the various flowerbeds of your different interests and passions alive and well? Are there hobbies that are overgrown and taking over more space than they should? Are there personal care areas that have shriveled and grown weeds from lack of attention?

Just as a gorgeous garden requires consistent time, effort, and love from a gardener with both skill and experience, your soul garden requires the same. All areas of your life deserve the attention they need to thrive without overwhelming the others. Take time to prune back unruly pursuits (Diner Dash, I’m looking at you) and devote more time to growing the things that bring you joy.

Personally, my soul garden probably looks more like a zoo right now. There are errant sentient plants wandering around and messing up flowerbeds. One is trying to build a shed using toothpicks and chewing gum. The few nice flowers I’ve managed to curate must be kept under bulletproof glass domes to protect them from the roving hoards of plot bunnies that munch on literally everything. There’s a treehouse in there somewhere. It’s chaos, but it’s my chaos, and there’s beauty in that too.

I see you there plot bunny. Don’t you dare eat my petunias.
Photo by Diana Măceşanu on Unsplash

This whole authoring business has encouraged me to plant new seeds while continuing to care for for the ones that are starting to sprout. These seeds represent skills and connections that need to be built and strengthened. It might be a while before I see real growth, but I know the possibility is out there. I trust that with proper care and attention they will grow into something beautiful. And where skill is lacking, thankfully there’s always Google, YouTube, and fellow indies I can randomly text on random Tuesday nights with my questions.

I raise my glass to those amazing indie authors out there with gorgeous gardens – thank you for sharing the fruit of your experience. It’s not an easy road, but it’s easier because I have you trailblazers to follow and learn from.

Tell me, dear reader, how does your garden grow?


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Unlikely Things in Unlikely Places

Not my garden. Heck, a girl can dream can't she?

Not my garden.  A girl can dream can’t she?

There’s nothing more breathtaking than a garden created and kept with care.  I’m talking about gardens with flower beds overflowing with harmonious color, wandering pathways, and secret nooks that beg for someone to come and hide away with a good book.

My garden is still a work in progress.  The few flower beds I have spring up with weeds the second I’m not looking and are home to a bizarre variety of plants that have made their way to my home over the years.  It’s an eclectic mix of pinks and purples that isn’t entirely unappealing, but it has the potential to be so much more.

In comparison, my neighbor across the street has a gorgeous garden. I try not to let it ruin our friendship, but it’s hard not to be jealous.  I suppose if I had her life with no kids and working as a photographer, I might manage to get my flowerbeds in better condition as well. She was smart enough to move into a house that faces south which gives year round sun for the plants in front and shade for the patio in the back. The front of my house, on the other hand, is engulfed in shadow year round. While this makes for pleasant shade on summer afternoons and I can watch the kiddos play and not die of heat stroke, it also means that come winter our entryway turns into a solid sheet of ice.

Nature is a wild thing and my garden reminds of this fact every day.  There’s nothing like discovering a baseball bat sized zucchini hiding in the garden or a six-foot tall weed in a neglected corner. This spring we found yet another family of voles living in the grass.  If it’s not voles, it’s gophers, or wasps, or gutter birds.

Last week I found something entirely out-of-place.  Out near the front entryway in the shadow of the house I found a tomato plant hiding among my petunias.  I can’t fathom how it got there or how it was able to grow.  We grow tomatoes in a vegetable garden clear in the back of the backyard and even then we have to buy plants instead of starting seeds, the growing season is too short.

Hey, that's not a petunia!

Hey, that’s not a petunia!

I haven’t decided if I will let it stay there. Tomato plants don’t stay small for long and I’m sure someone will notice it doesn’t belong where it is.  I’m not saying that produce can’t be among the petunias, but tomatoes are a bit of a stretch.