Today I relearned a beautiful life lesson.
As I stated previously, I fancy myself a suburban farmer. I have a very small garden and planted a few early spring plants, including kale. I worked the ground in preparation of the plants. I prepared the soil by tilling then adding fertilizer and mulching. I hardened the plants off by putting them outside during the day and bringing them in during the evening for a week before planting them in the ground. I feel like I did everything right and my intention was good.
On the evening I put the plants in, I worked the ground, added a little fertilizer in the hole I dug to secure the root ball and transplanted the little food to it’s new home. I mulched just a little around each plant. I felt accomplished. I felt really good about the effort I had put into my little future endeavor and that these plants would bear leaves that would become salads, side dishes, smoothies, kale chips, and “green powder.”
That evening, there was a huge storm. I knew it would rain that evening, which is why I chose that date to plant them outside. I did not know there would be 50 mph winds, hail the size of marbles, and tornado warnings. I looked out at my poor, sad plants, knowing there was nothing I could do. I was frustrated at the time and energy wasted. I was sure that my plants would be dead. My plans of future harvesting from my time and money investment were gone.
As I suspected, the next day the plants looked awful. Just pitiful. Only one looked like it had survived the onslaught. I was sad and frustrated. All my work – all my effort – for nothing.
I kept watering the plant that looked like it might survive. I also watered the damaged ones as well, just in case there was still hope – although I had little. I had made my mind up to dig them up and replace them with more healthy, mature plants this weekend.
Today, I went out and looked at my little kale plants. They surprised me. Under the wilted, yellow-green, spindly leaves were thick (albeit small) beautifully deep green new growth.
I snapped off the long, damaged leaves to allow more energy to be allocated to the new, healing, beautiful bits. The damaged leaves were larger and had been there longer, but they were draining the resources of the new, healthy growth.
As I am tending to these new plants, I realize this is a wonderful lesson for life-after-trauma.
Have good intentions.
Check the weather and conditions.
Put in the work.
Keep tending your garden, even if you’ve lost hope.
Snap off / address the damaged bits.
Water what you want to grow.
I take this lesson with me on my journey to sobriety as well as addressing other traumas in my life that may have led to my unhealthy relationship with alcohol in the first place.
Much love and Stay well, my friends.