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Flowers and the Search for Meaning

“Flowers reflect the human search for meaning. Does not each of us, no matter how our life has gone, ache to have a life as beautiful and true to itself as that of a flower?”

~ Philip Moffitt

Spring Greetings!

Greenhouse plants and flowers are making their arrival in the grocery and big box stores, and this, more than the weather these days, is a sure sign of spring. Maybe it is our long, dark winters and our late spring filled with ‘white rain,’ but gardeners of Calgary tend to go a bit crazy this time of year with the ‘bedding out plants’ season. Hope of longer days, warm evenings, color, and fragrance — we all need hope!

Yesterday I stopped to smell the carnations, the basil, the tomatoes, the pansies and the moist dirt on the shelves of the local organic store. Aaahhhh…the dirt, the smooth, ripple-leafed basil, the hairy, pungent tomato, the sweetness of pansy and carnation…aromatherapy for the soul.

Talk turns to, ‘did you see Home Hardware had the prettiest blue perennials in their garden section?’ And if you have very good friends, they will then add, ‘I bought a couple for your flower bed.’

Then you head to your flower beds to see what survived the freeze and thaw that comes with living in the Chinook winds. The winds make for warm welcome breaks in the winter months but the warming and sudden cold can often kill those less than hardy plants. You wonder, where will that pretty blue perennial be happiest?

The first perennial flowers this spring…amazing that anything survives winter!

Home Grown Food in Small Spaces

We are now filling up our little homemade greenhouse with tomato plants, sweet peas, basil, and maybe even some pumpkins. Gracie and my son planted something there last weekend so the ‘nursery’ is quickly filling up.

When my now young men were small children, we would spend lots of time in our little yard. The flowerbeds and tiny vegetable gardens were a source of constant wonder. The boys loved the worms and the dirt and the garden hose. I loved the flowers, the more fragrant, the better.

donna-son2                      donna-son1

More than self-sufficiency, I was attempting to create in the boys a sense of being connected to life, growth and pleasure in something as simple as planting a seed, nurturing it, and watching it grow into what it was meant to be. Mud-covered boys is where they got their start!

Here is what I wrote in March 1986. My oldest would have been 5 and the youngest would have been two. This was my first attempt at bedding plants from seeds and also the beginning of journaling:

“My pansy and petunia seeds have sprouted. I’m not sure why I am so amazed that they have sprouted. I am not an experienced gardener-perhaps that is some of it. I almost expect nothing to happen. I do expect nothing will happen. And yet it does. Thee little dry seeds. I’m so convinced that I must do everything just right, just so- the right kind of soil, pots and other greenhouse paraphernalia. That is my mistake…the mystery of seeds sprouting is not in the external so much (although certain things are needed). I think my amazement has to do with the mystery of the seed itself. It already contains life…water, soil and humidity are only a catalyst. The truth is I’m not even really a catalyst for that seed. I just placed it there in its container and it didn’t need me at all to tell it what to do next. I like that. It’s very freeing.”

So it is with us as physical beings in human form, set here by our Creator. We know how to grow, how to be healthy. Like the seed, we come with a vital force that keeps everything working in harmonious balance.

And here is what I wrote in August of that same year:

“Sunny and hot. How it brings the sweet peas to bloom. They respond to the light and the warmth by bursting out in glorious colors. I’m thinking about the seed I planted in March…shriveled, brown, grey, beige-flecked. Who would have expected such hidden beauty? A seed containing the potential for such awesome beauty and containing life itself. Life…and death, both contained in this seed. Side by side…death waiting for the realization and fulfillment of its life.”

I continued to journal but abandoned my gardening journal…perhaps it is time to resurrect as another growing season is upon me.

If you have little ones, I hope you create some time to get ‘dirty’ in the soil. Plant some flowers, plant some veggies, and connect to life…with each other. Three weeks from now, my friend Lizzie McGovern will be writing a guest blog on how to keep your soil healthy. Remember, our own inner ‘soil,’ our microbiome in our gut and cells, needs the same kind of care that our flowers and veggies do with soil. Healthy soil, healthy growth.

The handout, as promised, for home gardeners with suggestions for a remedy kit.

Have a home gardener in your life and need a gift idea? How about some heritage seeds, some bedding plants/herbs, a gardener’s homeopathic remedy kit, gloves, gardener’s soap and a nail brush? (Although I prefer to dig in the dirt without gloves myself!)

Then add the book Homeopathy for Plants by Christiane Maute. I ordered mine last week and am keen to ‘try’ it out, especially with the aphids!

Yours in health and healing,


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