Lessons from the garden: on brown wrappings

Her:  “Did you consider that it might be protection?”
Me *sniffling* “mmm…what?”
Her:  Maybe there is purpose in that situation ending.

On that day, I just wanted to cry… but yesterday down on my knees, with the damp earth seeping through my jeans, the words of my wise friend echoed in my heart.

It might be protection.

There is purpose.

new mums small

I get so excited for this time of year in the garden ~ the spring clean-up after the fall clean-up.  The fall clean up is a tucking in, but this, this is like opening a package.  Like welcoming a new baby.  Old growth, left for winter interest, is making way for the new. Like a deep breath of air right after it rains; all feels fresh, crisp and clean.

Ubiquitous cup of coffee in hand, I took inventory.

* Leaves & trash out of beds
* Move trellis
* Trim the crape myrtles
* Too much to do in one day, just start…

And then it was time… to tend and be in the quiet of birdsong, earth and thought.  As I gently pushed back crunchy brown leaves to uncover the seem-to-be-dead-but-not-really-perennials, I heard her again, “Did you consider it might be protection?” The wind blew, and I continued lifting leaves, like little blankets, off of the truth that, the scenario I thought was breaking my heart, was simply a cycle.  One that I can welcome not fight.  Situations fall to the ground and feel like death.  The tears are real, but the endings circle around to the next beginning.   I love uncovering the buds and bits of green because it’s like uncovering my dormant heart.  Those little buds infuse me with hope.  “Maybe there is purpose in the situation’s ending.” Maybe, oh, maybe…

new growth small

Winter is ending ~ Spring is coming.

I am new growth in a brown package;
hope wrapped in last year’s fallen dreams.

By | 2016-10-19T14:20:37+00:00 February 27th, 2011|Lessons from the garden|7 Comments

About the Author:

I create containers for words and paint and I fill them. I craft safe, sacred spaces for people to wrestle, create, heal and shout from the mountain tops.
And I teach people to do all of these things for themselves.

  • Elizabeth

    Wow, Betsy. This is teary beautiful.

    • thanks, Liz. It was a good day for thinking-in-the-garden.
      love you. ~b

  • Melissa

    Betsy, you have a beautiful turn of phrase. Funny thing, but I was in the garden a couple of days ago too, but with the opposite season approaching. Today is the last day of summer for us here. My poor garden gets so neglected, especially when we were thick in BIG. I have to spend some more time in it soon…..

    • Melissa – Just today, we were talking to our boy in Sydney. He was in a singlet; I was in a sweater. Surprises me almost every time, when he’s dressed for the opposite season. 😉 It was a little easier for me to ignore the garden during BIG as it’s late winter here. There’s a huge task list, and I got quite a bit done, but mostly I was out there for my soul. Hope you get out in the garden soon!!


  • agree w/Liz, “… lifting leaves, like little blankets, off of the truth …”

    • LY – 🙂 I was living the metaphor.

      Josh – Friend, the seed is a song.


  • Dreams once vibrant
    now shriveled and brown
    scattered purposefully on the ground
    shelter for the hope that’s pushing through
    What is old is making way for what is new…

    Let beauty arise
    Gone is the winter, gone is the rain
    Fragrance and melody glimmer again
    Let beauty arise