For those of you out there who have not had success with growing gardens and planting plants, it may seem daunting to try to grow and harvest plants for medicinal uses, or for food, or pretty flowers or whatever you might be attempting.
Yet, all great gardeners have failed. I have failed. Every gardener I know has failed at least somewhere in their journey. This knowledge used to be passed down through the generations, and somehow so many of us have lost it.
My dad was a farmer, and his dad before him, and so on and so on, long into my family’s history, and still I have failed along the way. I’ve made really stupid mistakes sometimes, but mostly it’s just a part of learning as I go. Even now that I have had a lot of experience, and in my eyes a lot of success growing all varieties of plants, I still experience failures and loss.
And yet I try again….
Something always keeps me coming back to the plants. No matter how heartbroken I’ve been, burned out, or overwhelmed, I just can’t stop myself from trying again. Whether this is insanity or justified dedication isn’t always clear, but the plant path is where I belong.
There is an innate intelligence within each seed on Earth. Each patterned with DNA that are programmed to survive. Plants want to exist. It is in their very life force.
We really just have to meet certain criteria or basic necessities of life. Sure, each has their own individual needs, but they thrive on some of the same environmental conditions we do. Fresh air, adequate water, absorbable nutrients, COMMUNITY.
We give to them and they literally become us. Literally. Their cells morph into our cells. The biology and magic behind that process is incredible. After they die, they become the soil which feeds the entire ecosystem of land based creatures on Earth.
That little seed in your hand is one thread in a woven fabric of life, and it wants to grow! Some weedy species of herbs and even some food plants are difficult to eradicate that life force is so strong. That need for survival adapts to the environment, and learns to thrive and overcome challenges.
Last year, I had myself a brand new greenhouse for all of my baby herb seedlings. I had over 30 different species (planning to be sold within a month or so) in this greenhouse all as happy as can be.
Then the spring winds came, and we were struck with a Haboob (an intense dust storm that is becoming more common in my part of the desert) and the entire greenhouse was lifted up and fell right over. The seedlings and their soil all fell out of their pots, and were scattered all over the ground.
Luckily, my sweet husband was home and was able to scoop up most of the plants, and put them as much into the cups as he could in the middle of a windstorm. Of course I was devastated. I spent all night delicately replanting them back into their pots, feeling like such a failure. I did not have high hopes, but guess what? EVERY SINGLE ONE of those plants that made it back into the pots survived!!!
This is just one example of how fierce a plants will to live can be. Of course we need to know the basics to providing a healthy environment to our garden friends, but the life force will fight to live!
That is what keeps me here on the plant path. That life force, that magic. Every time I plant a seed it seems like such a miracle when it grows.
Sometimes we fail, but sometimes we help to bring an entire being into this world. As gardeners and plant keepers we are generating life, and this brings much needed healing to ourselves and to the world around us.