Garden Blessings Abound

There has been a lot of rain this last week or so.

Warm temps and rain.

Perfect for puddle-splashing with my grand-son.

Perfect to fall asleep to with the bedroom window ever so slightly open.

Perfect for lazing away a Sunday afternoon, with warm tea and juicy book in hand.

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And perfect to induce the glorious eruption of  blossoms and foliage in our gardens.

How I love this time of year and watching the gardens bloom.

Would you allow me to take you for a virtual tour of our gardens?

IMG_2387[1]First stop is my Magical Garden. I blogged about it here. It was the garden that refused to grow until I left it to it’s own devices. The strawberries are almost ripened enough for picking! I love this garden that nurtures my body and spirit.

I love how it reminds me of the joy and surprise of unexpected blessings.

IMG_2419[1]Next stop is our Heritage Garden, so named as we inherited it from the previous owners upon our move 14 years ago. Yesterday I was greeted with the beautiful sight and sweet smell of freshly-bloomed pink peonies. How lovely to come home to!

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This Heritage Garden also boasts of a flowering shrub, rose bushes and wild daisies.

It reminds me to be thankful for all the unmerited blessings I have received.

Next up is the garden along the side of our house, underneath our bedroom windows.

IMG_2388[1]This garden is filled with gifts from friends. Little green shrubs had taken over a friend’s garden. She decided to share the wealth, dug one up, and gave it to me. I divided it and, years later, the transplant has proven to be successful. Around the same time, I mentioned to a co-worker how very much I loved tiger lilies. She responded by bringing me two from her own garden. These two plants proved to be fertile and multiplied greatly!

When I look at this garden, I give thanks for the blessing of friendship. The shrub-bequeathing friend is still in my life. And, though I no longer work with the tiger-lily giver, the return each year of the plants remind me of a wonderful time of life that we shared at our former workplace.

IMG_2426[1]I am especially happy with our next garden stop. This is our little front entrance garden that I filled with lavender last year. To my amazement, these plants not only survived a very cold winter, but they have blossomed out beyond what they did last year. Just a little water and love is all that was required. I wanted to plant lavender by our front entrance to provide a soothing scent to greet friends and family when they visit.

This garden reminds me of the blessing of hospitality. And how wonderful it is to have people join us in our home.

The final stop is our sweet Gazebo Garden. I am very pleased with it’s progress this year.

IMG_2412[1]This garden has so much meaning for me. I dug it out to surround the outdoor oasis my hubby built for us to provide a place of peace during a particularly painful time we went through a few years ago. This garden is where my love lies. It reminds me of the blessing of having a life partner to share experiences with – be they good, bad or neutral times, I know we have each other.

This garden reminds me of how, with faith in each other, we can bring beauty from sorrow, hope from despair.

This has brought so much peace.

And these gardens have brought so much joy!

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Be Fearless

joy“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”  – John Lennon

To Thine Own Self be True

“If I do not know who I am, it is because I think I am the sort of person everyone around me wants to be. Perhaps I have never asked myself whether I really wanted to become what everybody else seems to want to become. Perhaps if I only realized that I do not admire what everyone seems to admire, I would really begin to live after all. I would be liberated from the painful duty of saying what I really do not think and acting in a way that betrays God’s truth and the integrity of my own soul.” – Thomas Merton

This quote resonated with me today.

Over the last few years I have realized how important it is to be true to myself. I have spent so much time in the past trying to live up to some ideal. And the thing is, in many ways I achieved it. But when it came down to it, I wasn’t happy. I have had to rethink a lot of roles I used to play. I have had to let go and leave some behind for my own well-being.

I don’t think anyone is happy when they are living a life that is not true to who they really are.

I remember being in my late teens and leaving home. That first taste of independence and freedom is so precious. I recall entering the residence at the university I was attending, and this song was playing:

Lately that old song has come to mind again. I know there are times when I make mistakes – when I mess up – and I can be really hard on myself. I used to get embarrassed when my behaviour was less than steller, especially if it drew some attention. But in the last year, I have been more accepting of myself. After all, these little imperfections are part of who I am. They will be the fodder for memories and loving jokes when I am no longer here. They form part of my imprint on this world. They distinguish me as uniquely myself. This is true for all of us. I have come to realize that sometimes you just have to let go of who you think you should be – what you believe is expected of you – and “raise a little hell of your own”.

selfWhen I accept myself – all of myself – I find it easier to accept everyone else.

Perfection is not required around here. Nobody needs to fit into a small box of a role with me.

I have found a lot of peace in this.