Finding Grace in the Garden

Gardening is how I’d been able to escape.

“I give to you my garden, a green thumb though I’m not. The lovely thing of gardens? The plants just plain forgot.”

Kacie Brockman

From even before I found the courage to break free, I would break free in small, sacred splinters of time there.

Of course he resented that as well. He would tear me down about everything and even my ability to grow plants. God grew them – I didn’t have a say so in it. But I would prune things wrong or I would water too much or plant things in the wrong light… it was always too much and never enough. But I had the most beautiful garden and no matter what he said I would just go hide away there. It was as if we had a cherished, clandestine love story, the garden and I-

Often, the smallest thing like the brilliance of about zucchini blossom or the magestic towering sunflowers- these were sometimes the only friends I had after the isolation phase had been implemented. He could say whatever he wanted, but that garden was going to be magnificent no matter what. It had my back. And wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. The uprising in my soul had already begun.

“After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn…
With every goodbye you learn.”

Veronica Shoffstall

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