May 19, 2016

A Lesson from my Garden: To Blossom, We Must first Strip Back.

Flickr/seyed mostafa zamani

There is a small tree in my garden.

Each spring, it erupts in a magnificent mass of white fluffy flowers, like a dome of white snow.

Only last year’s show wasn’t quite as magnificent, as I didn’t make time during the year to prune it back as I should have.

Today I cut the tree back. As I started removing the outer green layers, I could see the plant was hiding dry twigs that were zapping the tree of its energy.

I lovingly removed them. I kept cutting, branch by branch. Finally, I stepped back to see a tree stripped bare and exposed, yet void of its heaviness.

I realised that it was like me, in my journey for spiritual growth.

Each season over the last six years I’ve pared myself back, little by little. As I shed my outer layers, I exposed the dry twigs that were just there, not serving my life or adding any nutrients to my soul or body.

Then as I keep removing layers, I find myself stripped back—bare and exposed—vulnerable.

Yet I know the vulnerability is only temporary. As the days go past, and as I keep watering my soul and nourishing my body, new levels of knowing and awareness cause green shoots to grow.

Stripped bare of the unnecessary dead and dry growth that no longer serves me, the new shoots have room for rapid growth. Eventually they bloom into magnificent flowers, bearing fruit to my self-work.

But the shine of the display is only temporary, just as everything is only temporary in times of spiritual and creative growth.

As the flowers fade away, the petals fall onto the earth, and the celebration of magnificence dies down, there is a resting period. Then it’s time to remove some layers again, working towards stripping myself bare.

But as each season of shedding comes along, I have more fortitude and more experience in being exposed. I know this is part of the process.

I don’t lose myself as much in the vulnerability, knowing that soon green shoots will start to grow. Eventually they will erupt into an incredible display of beautiful flowers, there for myself and the world to celebrate.

And then the cycle continues…

I have found many lessons to be learned in my garden.

I should find lessons in nature as well, as I am part of nature. All I can do is keep opening my eyes and ears to my garden and the nature around me, and realise the lessons in nature’s creations also apply to us.

The seasons of nature are temporary, just as our own seasons are temporary.

There are times to blossom, and there are times to strip ourselves back.

But one thing is for sure—the magnificent blossoming only comes after seasons of watering, care and growth.


Rediscovering Life through Nature.

Author:  Cherie Pasion

Apprentice Editor: Bere Blissenbach/Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/seyed mostafa zamani

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