For years I have yearned for a place that was “home enough” and that had a yard where I could grow some kind of garden. Being a sensual person to begin with, I have great appreciation for flowers that simply smell yummy and/or look pretty – I’d love to grow peonies and dahlias in particular for those purposes. But what really drives me is the desire to use the things I grow – and for more than just decoration. Magic food, mojo bags, infusions, salves – you name it. I dream of basil and rosemary, mint and jasmine, bell peppers and nasturtiums, calendula and meadowsweet and goldenseal. And a whole host of others.
We’ve got an ever-expanding cabinet of dried herbs that we use for various magical and medicinal purposes, but to grow our own to supplement our current supplies! Oh! How fabulous it would be. Of all the Witches in our house, I’m the Witch who spends the most time in the kitchen and seriously, I will probably cry when I harvest the first of the herbs I hope to grow. You should have seen me at the Old Drug Store in St. Augustine wandering through their collection and meeting SkullCap, Motherwort, Linden, and Crampbark for the first time in person. I got all choked up – no joke.
And while we live on a wooded lot (well, really, it’s not that we have a lot of trees on our lot but our neighbors do which translates into lots of shade and ridiculous amounts of fallen leaves in our yard), I’m choosing to be optimistic. I’m especially excited about gardening because it’s something that my wife and I will be doing together. It will be our project.
The other night we were chatting and I’d recounted wandering through some of the gardening aisles of Walmart. My wife – ever the patient one – told me it was still too early to start when she spotted me eyeing up the manual tiller hanging on the wall of our garage. Not even tilling? Nope. No tilling yet. The Earth is still chilly and she is not ready yet. If we till her now when she is still cold and wet and has told us it’s not time yet, she won’t trust us and won’t grow happy things for us. Hmmm…You’re sure? I am – I had a little chat with her the other day. *sigh* Okay.
I’ve come along way in the patience department over the last few years, but my nature is do! do! do! Not wait. And usually I start out wanting to tackle step 5 and ignore steps 1-4 which generally does not lead to success. So I’ve had to learn to pull the reins in on myself. I’ve made improvements in that area by having conversations with myself (literally) about what I want. Then, I inevitably have to tell myself that that cannot happen overnight (no jumping to step 5), so what would a first step in that direction be? As soon as I can figure out that first step, I’m usually all right because it gives me something to do. Somewhere to focus all my energy.
After my conversation with my wife, I thought about what I could do now while I waited for the earth to be ready for me to play with her. It’s been rainy and overcast here the past several days, so trying to determine more specifically where in our yard we get sun and where good locations for growing herby and plant people might be was not an option. However, the obstacle of shade and sun still sat in front of me, and while I know little about gardening at the moment, I know enough to know that’s important. So I went to the library. I have to pull the reins in here, too, because my first instinct is to get an overwhelming amount of books which usually leads to me not reading any of them. And while I am a rather voracious reader when something really captures my attention, I’ve learned to limit myself now to two or three. The two I checked out include Making the Most of Shade and a Beginner’s Guide to Herb Gardening.
Meanwhile, in the rest of my life, lots is going on and I’m far from bored. For what might be the first time (possibly ever), I’m not the one whose shit is all over the place. It’s quite nice here (temperate, easier to breathe), and I’m enjoying it a lot. Historically, though, how Momma and Papa have communicated to me in the past that I’ve got shit to work on is usually through some physical means. All Witches process energy through their bodies. Nine times out of ten when a Witch is sick, the root of the issue is NOT physical in nature. It’s typically related to some spiritual or life lesson. So, for me, when my shit crops up, I’ve gotten some kind of sick, I gotten a cold, etc. For a while toward the beginning I used to break out in mini hives along my arms (very unpleasant), etc. Recently (as in for the past year or so), it’s been a cough. It’s a cough that won’t ever completely go away – it just gets worse some times more than others. An annoyance, really, but an alert system that’s very functional. However, I was recently explaining to our newest Witchlet how that worked and saying I would very much like to get smarter and be able to become aware of those issues another way so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the cough or any other physical ailment like that anymore.
As I began writing this and was thinking about how fiercely the idea of gardening has grabbed me and the ensuing conversation with my wife, I had a moment. As soon as the concept of ‘patience’ came up, multi-colored flags flew up, alarm bells started jangling, etc. (This is the exciting part!) Brief caveat: I learn by making connections and associations among things. I take the new information with which I’m presented and weave it in to my existing knowledge base by connecting it to something. So in my moment, the following thoughts occured to me: Where else in my life is this concept appearing? Can I draw parallels and connections and associations? Does this hold some other lesson for me that I have been refusing to see? Well, yeah. This sounds so simple that I’m a little embarrassed to be writing it, but what if I used the way I learn (making connections) to figure out what shit I need to deal with based on seemingly mundane things going on in my life that grab my attention? No more coughing!
So, how does gardening and having to be patient and wait play into issues/lessons I’m dealing with at the moment? I’m having trouble with being patient with some of the people in my world. A variety of them of have created monstrous messes for themselves (which affect me indirectly, because, you know, I’m in relationship with them and actually live with them), and my perception is that they’re not really doing much to fix their messes. Don’t get me wrong – I love these people. Ridiculously. At the moment, I don’t like one of them. One of the get-out-of-almost-any-mess-free card that we whip out around our house is the “I’m sorry – I was being dumb” card. We all have moments when our brain just kind of falls out and we behave like idiots. The thing is, when you whip out that card, you have to actually own that you were being dumb and acknowledge that you’re done with that now. This particular person is being really dumb.
However, I have also been dumb. A lot. Like, for the past four years until several months ago. Almost, if not, the whole time. What can I say? I don’t like to admit it, but some times, I’m a bit slow. My wife, Goddess bless her, is an inordinately patient woman, and throughout the past four years, sowed the seeds I could receive (and a bunch I couldn’t at the time but that took root once I was ready). And waited. Eventually, I stopped being dumb.
So the wise and best-version-of-me-possible thing to do here is to wait. And be patient. And keep loving these people and sow what seeds Momma and Papa tell me to sow when/if They tell me to sow them. And to remember that I was really dumb before for a while, too.