Have you ever had a traumatic experience that colored how you see the world?
Trauma can put our nervous system on high alert that lasts for far longer than it should. Over time, we can start to see the world through a distorted lens of that trauma.
Sometimes it takes a kind heart, a thoughtful action, and the smile of a friend to bring us back to seeing the beauty that also exists in our world.
That is exactly what we needed a few weeks ago.
It’s no secret that we’ve had a hard summer in particular during a year that’s been hard on all of us. After Dad passed and my husband and I relocated to live with Mom, we began to make ourselves at home. For us this meant making ourselves some gardens because growing food and flowers is at the heart of our self-care practices.
There’s a strip of grass on the side of Mom’s house that gets amazing morning sun and was like a blank canvas to us gardeners. My husband worked hard during the hot summer months to create the beginning of what we were calling a “food forest” stocked with papayas, yucas, edible hibiscus, moringa and more.
We enjoyed getting to know the neighbors by sharing with them what could be eaten, inviting them to grab a few leaves of moringa for some soup. A few were waiting to get some yucas when they were ready to harvest.
But then one day we went out to check on it and well … apparently someone on the street had a problem with what we were growing.
Walking out to find your garden has been poisoned was heartbreaking. Especially after our hearts have only started to mend from our great loss this summer.
I felt violated. I felt unsafe. I felt like I couldn’t remember what it was like to live in a world where there is goodness.
After sharing about this on social media, which is unusual for me since I prefer to send light and love in the world, I received an incredible amount of support. Some wrote comments, sent me messages, called, and a few decided the best medicine was more plants.
One of the messages I received was from a woman who had been a regular in my meditation and aromatherapy classes over the past few years. She found me not too long after she lost her husband and was deep in the grief process. I actually had thought a lot about her over the past few months, having been someone I knew that “has gone through it,” someone I got to watch heal from one of life’s hardest experiences.
In her message she wrote that she was making healing garden for me and she’d let me know when it was ready. So a few weeks ago I stopped by her place to pick it up. It’s got lavender, chamomile, and rosemary (two of which were from cuttings she grew!), all aromatic herbs that I can use for tea when they get bigger.
Now everyday I go out to check on it (safely located within our fence line) and rub my hand over the soft and feathery chamomile leaves. I pinch a little of the lavender if I need to calm down, the basil or rosemary if I want to perk up.
Everyday it reminds me of her thoughtful action and the gratitude she expressed for finding me and my business during a dark time.
There’s something so beautiful about not only that she’s returning to me what I gave to her but also that the roles have reversed — she’s the one giving ME aromatic plants for my healing.
It’s a small garden but it’s made a huge impact.
It’s a visual reminder that the world is bigger than just the plant-haters that apparently live on our street.
It’s a reminder that healing can happen.
It’s a reminder that the plants are here for us and though they can’t move themselves, they have human angels who can deliever them to where they are needed.
So, I want to know:
Have you ever had a plant come into your life in a time that you needed healing? Have you ever been the bearer of plant gifts for friends going through a hard time?
I’d love to hear your stories. Leave me a comment below.