My garden is a very special place to me, I may not have control over much of my life but I retain control over my garden. Among my plants I can speak freely and openly about anything I so desire, they don’t talk back and they don’t judge me. I have lived the last ten years of my life with a chemically infested mind, I find the one constant in my life that keeps me going is my garden. Having gone from the constant pursuit of currency to satisfy my appetite for personal destruction to the constant pursuit of gardening bliss, I find it calming to be in a place like my backyard where I alone call the shots.
Gardening is fifty percent me telling the plants what to do and fifty percent the plants telling me what to do, at the end of the day I get to call the shots which is the difference in my life today as opposed to several years ago. I am tired of being controlled like a puppet by a puppet master that isn’t even a tangible being, now I am the puppet master and my plants are my puppet. I don’t have to navigate a plethora of emotions I barely understand to get to the bottom of a plants problems, I just follow the simple checklist of symptoms to arrive at the final diagnosis and ultimate solution.
When I screw up in my garden it is on me, I don’t have to explain the mistake to anyone unless I feel people could benefit from the knowledge gained from my mistake. When I screw up outside of my garden it can have drastic effects on everyone around me, I can throw plants away but I am stuck with the people around me. The way that I treated people in the past has had a profound impact on the way many people perceive me, the same can be said about every single garden I have ever planted… but the perception my gardens have given me of myself are the ones that I hope will carry me into the rest of my life… I don’t have much else.
Sentimental feelings can cripple ones ability to make rational decisions, the same can be said about plants in a garden. Often times certain feelings can affect the decision making processes we commonly experience when molding our social circles, in the garden this often leads to ugly, overgrown and old plants. Now I am not saying don’t have any sentimental plants or friends, I’m saying choose your special plants wisely and never hoard to many of them. Remember that your garden will change in the same way your social circle changes, often and sometimes drastically, your plants require the same things your friends need including companionship, care and most importantly… Love!
I was told while staying at “Chez Western Psychiatric Bed and Breakfast” that I would be ready for personal relationships when I could keep a plant alive, kind of shows that even after a twenty day stay they still didn’t have a clue about my personal life. This tought me to pay attention to my plants and to listen to their needs, this is the same in real life as a requirement for friendship… In the future I hope to spend more of my conversations focusing on the “you” aspect and much less of the conversation focusing on the me aspect… I am already aware of the lessons I have learned in my life, my interests are shifting towards the lessons I can learn from your mistakes…
In my garden no one can hear you scream – Chris Condello
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