This past Christmas my kids gave me one of those cute little plaques with words of wisdom that inspire and remind us how to live a happy life. The plaque they chose for me was spot on in describing what makes me happy. Everyone is different and everyone finds happiness in different places. One of my happiest places is in the garden. Not just my own garden but any garden. A garden is defined in the Webster dictionary as “a plot of ground where herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables are grown”. Whoever came up with this practical but boring definition of a garden has obviously never experienced the magic of a garden. Whether in the creative stages of planning, working in a garden, or simply standing in admiration of a garden there is a spiritual element that can center us. The garden, like all of nature, has a way of grounding us.
Rule #1 is “escape into nature”. Perhaps your favorite place is on the ocean or seashore. Maybe it is on a mountain top or by the river’s edge. Or it could be hiking a trail, riding a bike, or taking a country drive in the car. Wherever it is that you find a sense of awe or a connection with something greater than yourself that’s where you need to be.
Rule #2 “attract butterflies”. Have you ever witnessed the miracle of a butterfly?! We could all use more butterflies in our life.
Rule # 3 “take time to smell the flowers”. Life is short and if you do not take the time to figuratively smell the flowers you are missing the point of life. And what is the point of life you may ask?
Rule #4 “cultivate friendships”. Relationships are what give us meaning in our life. Without this interaction we simply exist in a bubble. Caring for all creation is gratifying and rule #5 “feed the birds” can fulfill our need to nurture. Whether it is clear to you or not, all humans have this need to nurture. “Our fondness for fauna comes from an evolved human need to nurture”, argues Juliet Clutton-Brock, an English zooarchaeologist and curator, specializing in domesticated mammals.
Rule #5 “get dirty”. Life gets messy so don’t be afraid to get dirty. Roll up your sleeves and live life to its fullest.
The last rule #6 “grow happiness” is the key to living a positive life. Keep a positive attitude and strive to be happy. However, happiness is not always a choice. Depression is real. If you think you might suffer from depression you are not alone but you alone must take the first step to getting help.
A garden teaches us many life lessons. Following these 6 simple rules can help our garden of life grow healthy, happy and beautiful.
Melissa Blundon- CANP, AOLCP
Madison Earth Care Landscaping
Contact Us for an Appointment or call 203-421-4358