One of the better parts of summer is working in my garden and perhaps my favorite garden chore is weeding. Solitary, quiet, simple - it is both rewarding and soothing. Requiring no tremendous mental focus on the task at hand it allows for mind-wandering and reflection, and results in beauty and order. Often and often it occurs to me that there are wonderful life lessons to be learned in the garden. Simple little analogies and metaphors occur to me as I work away - thoughts that I find meaningful. So today ... a few life lessons from my garden:
Every garden has weeds. Every life has problems, everyone does things they shouldn't. Some gardens are neglected and the weeds overtake the beauty. Other gardens are tended and the weeds are small but every garden has weeds.
It is a lot easier to pull weeds right after a good hard rain. Wait for the hot sun and the ground is so hard, the weeds so strong and firmly rooted that removing them is hard, hard work. Overwhelming. Almost defeating.
It is a lot easier to pull small weeds than large ones.
Procrastinating is usually not the best option when dealing with weeds. Things tend to get out of hand quickly.
Although rain is essential for a healthy garden most of us - even gardeners - would prefer a forecast of eternal sunshine (or maybe only Camelot-like nightly rains that don't impact our personal plans for pleasure). Who wants a picnic in the rain anyway? But a good rain makes the weeds grow as well as the flowers - often making them not only easier to pull but easier to find.
In my life as in all lives, there have been periods with heavy rain. Times when the sunshine of life seems a distant memory and I have wondered if it would shine again. But at those times if my heart is right, I can see the 'weeds' and they are so much easier to pull. When the sun comes out again - as it always does - my 'garden' is more beautiful and I love it more. If there were no weeds, no rain, no effort, would there be joy and satisfaction? Would I even recognize that there was beauty?