Thistles in the Garden

Ok, I know it has been a while since you have heard me rant or encourage through a blog post and you may be wondering, why now?  Let me rant then by the end you may understand the why now part.

So, I moved into a different place, a rental home with a big backyard that hasn’t had much human attention in years.  I haven’t moved in 22 1/2 years.  Moving here took me several trips and multiple episodes of purging and downsizing.  In the month of June, most of the yards and gardens in my area are already set up nicely planted and tended to for the season.  Not this yard.  Finding time between moving and working my job and dealing with family matters, I found spurts of time to work on the yard. Over seven hours so far that I have invested into the eradication of thistles and burdock from my back yard, and I have only lived here for 5 weeks!

I mowed it once using a bagger on the mower to haul away all the clippings because there was a thistle and burdock infestation when I arrived.  I won’t go into detail on what these specific plants/weeks are, Google is very handy for that kind of information.

It occurred to me as I spent multiple hours of digging thistles and burdock after that first mowing..  There are many similarities to human life and relationships and the tending of a yard.  When you find a young thistle or burdock, it is relatively easy to remove them from the yard.  They are young and tender and haven’t taken deep root……yet.  You can dig down and under them easily lifting the plant to get all of the root, which is crucial when digging weeds of any kind.  I got to thinking how easy it is to deal with them when they are a small problem.  Then I got to thinking and reflecting on things going on in my personal relationships.  What similarities there are.  If I am agitated about something, it is much easier to deal with it before it becomes a big problem which could compromise my relationship if left unattended.

Now, if the thistles and burdocks go unattended, they “grow like a weed”.  Pun intended!  If they mature and go to seed, then they multiply better than any rabbit.  As I dug the mature plants, I found some of the stalks were SO huge, the roots beneath them were big, woody, and very difficult to uproot.  Digging down deep parallel to the plant as deep as possible then pulling the blade of the shovel up under the plant, if you are careful you can unearth the thistle to the point where you can pull it out with the root almost completely intact.  There’s an art to it, and one must take care not to kill the grass and other healthy plants around the thistles in the process.

I got to thinking about relationships in my life.  The garden of my life had become overrun with some “thistle” like problems.  Deep rooted, tough, and hard to eradicate them.  Can the thistles in my back yard be eradicated?  Yes.  Will it be easy?  No, it will take lots of time and attention and consistency during the rest of this season and in the spring, I may have only a small amount to deal with, and they will be manageable.

Here’s the deal, stay tuned into your yard, your backyard, the relationships in your life.  Take a moment to sit, like I am right now, in my favourite rocking lawn chair (thanks Pennie, I love it!)  and ponder the relationships in your life.  How are they doing?  Do you have any concerns that could be addressed to ward off future issues?  Make a note to address them, put a date on it when you would like to get it accomplished (I find putting a time on it raises the intention in my life.)

I reflect that I got busy doing other things important to me and time consuming things to do.  Were they all important and necessary?  Absolutely not.  Where they enjoyable?  Yes. Would I do it differently if I had a do-over?  I do not know… brought me where I am today.  Do I regret my choices?  No.  I do get wistful and wish I had made changes and moves earlier in my life.  Yet, I don’t know that I want to do it over again.

Hone your garden tools and use them, often.  tending a healthy garden, it is easy to pluck out a pesky weed here and there.  If you let things go, you could find yourself like I was walking into the backyard of my rental home….shocked and overwhelmed.

If this has encouraged you, spurred you on, piqued your curiosity or moved you in anyway, please let me know.

Thanks for listening, from my heart to yours.

Coach Trudy


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