Lessons from the Garden — With Kimberly Carter Gamble

Sat, 09 Aug 2014 08:00:00 PDT

Getting my hands in the soil and witnessing the cycle of life has given me more gifts than I can count. Join me this week as I share my lessons from the garden.

Read a transcript of the audio (to translate the transcript, choose your language at the top of this page)

Audio Transcription

Teresa Collins: I know that you are an incredible gardener. You have quite a garden and I wonder if there’s an analogy from gardening that might serve as a principle or a practice or an insight that would support people that are riding some big waves in their life right now. What might you pull from your gardening cultivation?

Kimberly: What I was thinking about recently is that I’ve had a garden ever since I was a little kid. In fact, I’m going to tell the story of how I became a gardener because it’s actually relevant to all of this. I had a next-door neighbor and there was just a plot of land and then a new person moved in and this woman who moved in just transformed this yard into this gorgeous garden. I was mesmerized and thought, “I want to be able to do that!” She said, “Oh, it’s easy”, and she helped me create a little plot of land and she gave me some radish seeds. Radish seeds will grow anywhere, anytime. You, basically, can’t kill them and they come up in just a few days.

My first experience with planting seeds was that I also had the magic that she had and could create this gorgeous beauty in the yard. So, I had a kind of confidence from my radish seeds that I never doubted. I never doubted that I could work with the soil and plant things and that beautiful things would grow. Because of that, I tried all kinds of things. Over the years since then, of course, I’ve studied soil and water cycles and all kinds of things to be more educated, but I think at the heart of it is a kind of fun, playful, confident way that I have of relating.

I’ve had gardens ever since and one of the things I’ve noticed is that every now and then there’s a wipeout year in the garden. I’ve always had organic gardens and there’s always some year (maybe it’s every seven years or some amount of time) where there will be an imbalance and the aphids will just come on through or some pest or something will come through and just make a mess of things and it will right itself. It actually has everything within it to self-correct. It just takes time and it has to go through that period of imbalance to, strengthen to come back with a new balance that’s stronger, that incorporates that so that particular thing doesn’t go wrong again.

I now have had enough of those seven year cycles in my life (or however often it is) to know that when it happens, it’s really important to let it be and it’s one of the reasons I feel so sad about pesticides and this notion that you come in and you wipe out that problem that happened and the chain reaction of that into the myriad of other problems you create is just infinite compared to allowing this natural ecosystem to self-correct. I’m sad when those years come because I love my garden to be in all its glory, but I accept it completely now. I recognize to not interfere, just witness this and be fortified in the knowing that what’s needed to heal is within the system that’s having a hard time. Foster said something like, “Any planet that has the remedy for a toxin within some number of feet within it, as nature does, is a planet that’s meant to heal and thrive.” I think that way in the garden.

What I take from that is that those days and times that are really hard (where I’ve done something I wished I didn’t do or something happened I wished didn’t happen or I’m in grief over the loss of someone on this plane who I didn’t want to lose or whatever the experience is), that I now think of it like one of those times in the garden where it’s just kind of a wipeout and I sit with the confidence that I have within me and within the connections that I have to this infinite, abundant, glorious planet and universe what I need to heal and to come back into wholeness. I think that’s really important because that happens. When you’re in a good state, it’s so hard to think, for example, like every time I clean my desk and I think I’m always going to keep it clean, but it actually just doesn’t happen that way. It’s the same with good times. I have good times and I think, “It just can’t go wrong from here!” and then something happens and I know it will come again, that there will be a day where I will be very sad or very confused or at a loss in some way and I think that my lesson from the garden is to really sit in the faith and comfort of knowing that I have what it takes to come back into my own clarity and wholeness and I believe we all do.




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