decaying vegThe state of my garden often reflects my inner life, I’ve noticed.

Regardless of the season, when it is not well tended, it's generally a sign that my life is too busy. Such it is, at the moment (again!)...

Summer pots of flowers, that were a few months ago, a riot of colour, are slowly rotting as the season changes. Bushes, in need of pruning, are overgrown and the last of the home-grown vegetables are beginning to perish in situ. Weeds, encouraged by the rain, are invading the front gravel and I cannot walk to the studio without guilt at the state of the greenhouse, full of pots and tools hastily dumped after scattered summer evenings tending our little plot.

Spring bulbs bought weeks ago to plant in my favourite ceramic blue pots, as an intentional marker of hope for the spring, are still in their packets in my kitchen, waiting for a day of fine weather that coincides with a free afternoon. Yet when is there ever a “free afternoon” unless I create one?

I am aware of the analogy of the need to tend both soil and soul, yet still I do nothing.

You see, I’m great at making excuses … not so much to other people…. but to myself. You know the sort of excuse, that offers a way out of facing up to the unpalatable truth of a situation…. “It’s been such a busy time…. I will do it tomorrow…I will just take on one more project, then I will do it…I’m just too tired…It's not that bad..”

The truth is that I am too tired because I’m doing too much, and not prioritising self-care and the things that keep me well (which includes tending my garden!)

We get ourselves into unhelpful cyclical patterns, predictable in their outcomes until there comes a point, (in this case, both in tending personal life and in cultivating the garden), when we can no longer kid ourselves that things aren’t that bad.

We realise that if we don’t do something soon, then we may need to invest a great deal longer than if we just took a deep breath and got on with whatever is needed.

I am a fair-weather gardener, and the rain has been prolific, seemingly always choosing to pour at weekends but in the end, I have a choice… get wet doing the garden, to tend both soul and soil…or pay no attention to the messy work that growing involves.

dirty hands pexels kampus production 7658766Tending the garden this autumn will, I fear, mean getting my hands dirty, my boots muddy, and my body wet and cold, but in prioritising the time to garden, I will also be tending my soul.

What might you need to prioritise this week, that tends your soul?

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