I grew up living in my Nana's house and she has been a Gardner by trade for over 50 years. When she began her carer "there was no such thing as a female Gardner" and because of this, she threw herself into the hardest and most physically tasking jobs available to prove a point. Growing up my Nan did most of the childcare which meant that I spent my first 10 years in various gardens which she would transform into paradises.
When I was 18 grief robbed me of my innocence, and what's funny is that I had naïvely considered it already, however, it was only when my person died that I realised that I had never truly believed anyone would. My love had nowhere to go, my person had slipped behind a lead curtain, just out of sight and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't follow.
Once I had stared at death for long enough and subsequently grief, everything began to feel fragile, tenuous and temporary. I took a long time for me to accept these truths, and gardening was a big part of that.
Gardening is imperfect, a constant act of the unknown and the hope of renewal. Gardening teaches us to accept the fluid process of life and death. You keep planting and hope that the roots drive deep enough to survive the frost and that they don't rot or dry up or become infected.
You learn that even if these things do happen, there can always be a new seedling to take it's place, to try again to fight for hope and life again.
"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace." - Eleanore Marie Sarton