Often times, the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence. Whether it’s figuratively or literally, feeling as though someone else is more successful than you or having a better day than you, no matter how “enlightened” you may be, can make for a dull moment or two. It can also introduce you to a valuable lesson.
When we lived in an apartment, I was often agitated with the lack of space and light. On walks I would get wistful, wanting a house of our own, drooling over other people’s gardens, however shabby…sometimes I would get downright depressed! After a couple of years of wishing we had more space and could grow our own herbs, and with my distaste of situation growing, I finally prayed and heard the message that enough was enough. I was driving myself and my husband crazy with envy and the feelings of inadequacy. In a “fed up fit,” I took my own advice and cleaned our threshold. I also went to the garden store and bought mint, a container and organic potting soil. It was time to stop waiting for the day when we would move to have the things we wanted; instead it was time to make some greenery happen where we were.
Almost two weeks later, we moved into to a house. In a million years however, I would have never guessed we would move “right next door.” Literally, the family of six, of whom I often had “grass is greener thoughts” simply moved out. We called the landlord before the moving van pulled away and within three weeks became the new tenants.
From a small apartment, with hardly any windows to a three bedroom house, full of windows and a basement, we felt like and still do feel like kings. Aside from much more breathing room, we inherited one grassy, almost dead lawn and three dying rose bushes.
The previous family not only had four wonderful children, but also one energetic Chocolate Lab. This dog loved “her” kids, however try as our neighbors did (many times a year) to have a pretty front yard, Coco the Lab was intent on keeping it a dirt palace. Slowly over the twelve years they lived here, the yard fell into disarray. The dirt became hard, the plants shriveled and because there was no energy being put into it, the garden became distraught.
Just before we moved in, the landlord, in efforts to make the place look more attractive had put down fresh grass. Unfortunately, years of being an abused garden space meant the grass was having trouble taking root. When we saw this happening, we remembered plants are like people….emotional; plants NEED encouragement, and love, and energy and coaxing. As much as water and sunshine, you’ve got to treat your plants with respect and compassion in order for them to grow, especially in a harsh environment.
The first order of garden business was to open some verbal and non-verbal dialogue. Throughout the day, while moving, we started talking to our grass, stroking the dead rose bushes, clearing out the cobwebs, trimming the dead branches, whispering, listening, and watering. Honestly, overnight there was a massive change. Within days the roses started blooming, and out of dead, gray limbs shot green, vibrant new tendrils. The grass took firm root and became downright “wooly.” All variations of toad stools came popping up as well! At night we can almost hear it growing, sighing in the hot summer evening, basking in its new-found energy.
My point here is, when I finally got wise to the fact that I needed to concentrate on the blessings of our own “garden,” change…profound change happened in our lives. Accepting and being grateful for our situation, making the best of it and letting go of envy in the process, meant we were able to let in more Light to our “life-garden”.
By doing something constructive with what we were given, we proved to the universe we could handle even more space with which to create more joy and more healing.
The garden, much like the hundred year old house we moved into, is still a work in progress; however the lesson is the same: If you feel the grass is greener elsewhere, water your own “grass.” Start small, and have hope! Who knows how big your “garden will grow.”