Overcoming Fears in the Garden


Alongside my little garden, I have grown a lot in the past couple of months. The CLSC called and I have been getting some incredible therapy for my postpartum depression. My doctor came through and recommended some drugs that helped put me on an even keel and my friends and family banded together around me to lift me up towards the sun. So much of my pain was connected to a fear of the unknown. What would we be like as this new family of four? Would he ever sleep and stop crying? How much was my despondence damaging my kids? Would Althea’s homeschooling education get back on track? Not all of these questions have been entirely answered in my mind but I have regained a sense of hope and optimism when I try to imagine the outcomes.

Today I was in a friend’s garden with our girls. They came across a spider. My first reaction was fear but I held it together for the children. It is an automatic reaction for me to pull away and crinkle my nose when I encounter spiders. However, a few things are true about coming across fears in the garden and elsewhere:

1. It’s ok to get a bit freaked out. I don’t brand my fear as “silly.” When Althea is nervous I don’t chide her or force her to face her fears. I am compassionate and encourage her to be brave without judgement. I am learning to do the same for myself.

2. There is beauty in vulnerability and there is loveliness in the dirtiest parts of life. Without a bit of shit – flowers can’t grow. Be in the dirt. Get dirty. It helps you improve yourself.

3. How you react to fear directly impacts how your children will. When I saw the spider – I encouraged the girls to touch and examine it with a sense of wonder. By doing so – I also learned to see this creature with new eyes.

Ok. End of self-sermon. All in all, summer is doing me good. Munching away on fresh greens in my friend’s garden today made me feel so joyful. The baby whined and fussed much of the time we were over there and my nerves were on edge occasionally because of him but I wasn’t in despair and I knew that he would likely nap later in the day. I am looking forward to harvesting all the good stuff I am planting in my new life amongst the sun, the shade, the bugs and, yes, even the shit.