On this day one year ago I began writing my blog Darlene’s Garden.  Like any good gardener I make sure to reflect over all that I have learned to grow more the next year.  One year later I am most certainly in a different place than I was then.

My reason for starting this blog in the beginning was to write about what I loved most and to forget that I was unhappy in my job.  I worked in an office with no windows.  I rarely saw people in my building.  It was very lonely.  My only comfort was the gardeners from around the country that called me with their questions.  That part of my work I did enjoy. 

 However, I didn’t feel like the years I had spent in school and gaining experience had all been to sit in a quiet room alone.  I started to wonder why I had pursued a career in horticulture.  I thought about my expectations when I began my journey.  I wanted to remember why it was so important to me that I become a horticulturalist.  I started this blog to seek out that answer. 

Only 3 months had passed since my first post and I was shocked to learn that I was being laid off.  I rarely speak of this time as it was very painful and confusing.  It was difficult to sleep.  I sat in my dark living room listening to my Ipod staring straight ahead at the wall unable to move.  Questions really began to surface.  What was it all for?  I came this far to be without a job?  I was being faced with the decision of where I wanted my career to go.  This lead to a question of what did I want to do with my life since gardening is not only my work, but who I am.  My fear of what to do next became overwhelming.

Currently I am reading a beautiful book called:  “Growing Season:  A Healing Journey into the Heart of Nature” by Arlene Bernstein.  It tells the story of a woman who is faced with deep tragedy, but finds a way to heal through the act of gardening.  I came upon a passage that struck a chord in me. 

“I wish fear were as easy as weeds to pull out and compost.”   

 I think everyone can relate to why this would be such a powerful statement.  If I had read this at that difficult time I would have said, “Yeah, if only.”  What strikes me about this idea is that when we compost we recycle.  We take something we do not need, let it sit for a while, and as a result we use it for something we do need.  It says to me that I did in fact use my fear to create something new. 

In the past year I have been able to change my focus and head down a pathway that leads in a direction of my choosing.  As I walk along I am surrounded by what matters to me and what I truly want to be apart of. 

In the book I am reading the garden helps the author find a way to live again.  Like her I have gardened this past year and it helps me through.  However, before I was gardener I was a writer.  I began writing at five years old.  It helped me get through some very difficult times as a child.  Again I looked to it for guidance.  I found out why I became a horticulturalist after all.  Plain and simple:  I love to garden and I love to share it with other gardeners.  Therefore, all of you out there who allowed me to share with you my garden stories have healed me.  I feel strongly that this blog brought me back to where I actually wanted to be.  In the garden… 

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