Sometimes the surprises are good ones: ripe figs to pick, a rose bloom opened, an unusual butterfly, a damaged shrub sending out new growth. Sometimes the surprises are disappointing: a sage plant turned brown from too much rain, a whole network of new vole holes to crush, a fig tree bending over double from the weight of its crop, a bed full of grass and weeds that need pulling- again.
Gardeners learn to celebrate the happy surprises, fix the disappointing ones, and move on. Our world is in continual flux.
The Dharma, or path in Buddhism, is based in realization of impermanence. As we tend our gardens, we see the nature of impermanence and change every day. An attitude of non- attachment, as difficult as that tends to be, allows us to appreciate the beautiful while letting the disappoints go. We eventually understand that the degree of suffering we experience from our disappointments is based on our attachment to what is lost, or damaged.
Sometimes transforming a disappointment into a joy comes with looking more closely.
Sometimes, it only asks us to see a problem as an opportunity for growth.
This season has been a particularly hard one for many. We have week upon week of record rainfall, floods, wind, and oppressive heat in some areas; drought, wildfires, hail, and late snowfall in others. So many have lost everything in the wild weather patterns wracking our planet.
I remember those who sustain themselves and their families on what they grow. I remember those who have lost the beauty of their gardens and the harvest of their fields and greenhouses in a single storm, and hope they have the heart and the means to clean it up, replant, and continue along their path.
As gardeners we continue to walk in beauty, to appreciate the gifts of our gardens, to fix what can be fixed, tend what must be tended, and share our love with those around us. And, above all, we continue to believe that more beautiful and happy surprises await, on our next walk through our garden.