There is something so incredibly heady and refreshing about the scent of freshly harvested mint, that makes you want to close your eyes and let it permeate your senses. It lingers long afterwards, clinging to the tip of your fingers and wafting past your nose like a sliver of nostalgia. It comes to me one evening as I was harvesting my crop of mint, that I was actually seeing instead merely looking. I was beginning to paying attention to the things around me and the way my senses responded to it.
|My terrace garden|
Gardening demands your attention, not little-distracted pieces of it, but being fully present both in body and spirit. It nudges you to enjoy the process, without the assurance of a happy future. Not all the saplings we plant or the seeds we sow grow into healthy plants. Gardening comes with its own set of failures .So then, we must nurture our happiness by enjoying the process and sprucing it up with healthy doses of hope and dreams, as it is with life.
Gardening opens up a whole new world of wonder, which I had been hitherto blind to. The way the texture of the leaves of each plant, differs from the other, almost as if it were its fingerprints, the bittersweet petrichor that emanates, as the first drops of water touch the soil, parched from the scorching summer sun, the taste of the freshly harvested produce; crisp and delicious with undertones of distilled sunshine. If purity had a taste, it would be this.
|Bounty from my terrace garden|
Gardening I soon discover, persuades you albeit in a kindly way, to accept the fact that you have to let go of things you have been clinging on to. A batch of crop that you nurtured as saplings, protected from pests and weeds have to be discarded once their yield span is finished, the soil is turned and new seeds are sown. Letting go of things, whether it is a bad relationship, memories or simply a bad habit can be excruciatingly painful and difficult. When you are told to let go and move on, it is akin to being spoken to in a foreign tongue. Nothing makes sense. It makes you nervous and uncomfortable, the thought of that alien place, where you no longer will be able to hide in the haze of your sad memories. So you cling on to the known enemy, wary of the unknown friend. Perhaps then, letting go is the belief that your life can be turned around, just like the soil, ready to sow fresh seeds of hopes, dreams and relationships.
“Only this actual moment is life” - Thich Nhat Hanh
Gardening makes me realize this every single day. It is like a whiff of petrichor for my parched soul.