Learning Life’s Most Important Lessons from my Garden

Dear Reader:

As I walked through my garden yesterday morning (following torrential rains Monday afternoon) some flowers looked a little beat down but most were smiling happily back at me…their thirst quenched from the heavy rains.

All I could think of was the line from the Ancient Mariner: “Water, water everywhere…but not a drop to drink.” Don’t so many of us confuse wants and needs…standing knee-deep in the river of abundance… still thirsting after happiness?”

And as much as I wish I had the money to finish fixing up my house to get it in prime shape…I still love it, with all its strange electric and plumbing idiosyncrasies- which light switch to jiggle and which to jingle to get the light bulb on or the oven cooking. I would probably have trouble adjusting to turning on switches in any “normal way” after all these years. (the same goes for jiggling commode handles 🙂

These are only “wants”…like a new kitchen and bathroom. I can live my life comfortably with just me living here and never give these “wants” a second glance.

I would rather spend my time in the garden surrounded by new beauty popping up each and every day. Since I love magic, as in my fairy garden, I have also come to realize that magic seeds of contentment are planted deep within us.

I love this quote from Simple Abundance: “Happiness that the world can not take away only flourishes in the secret garden of our souls.”

Think about how little we needed as infants to be content…to simply be changed and fed…when just our essential needs were met we cooed and smiled to the delight of our parents.

As adults we need to eliminate temporary happiness (usually material things or a short relationship) and concentrate on the daily rituals that bring us that same joy…and even better…it is permanent…residing in our heart and soul.

Things I have learned from my garden…

  1. I can’t make a seed grow…only God has that power
  2. If a plant looks unhealthy…change its environment
  3. Don’t confuse dead for dormant…like ideas, opportunities, relationships…some things in life just take a little longer to flourish
  4. Beauty is a legitimate reason for living-surround yourself with it
  5. Be selective where you plant your garden…you must love the spot…a place you want to return to for peace and refuge
  6. Share your happy place with others

So until tomorrow…

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

*I dropped off Colby’s graduation present yesterday…a Clemson bag filled with  Clemson decor and more…this fall. Colby wasn’t there but our wonderful, wise, witty loyal blog reader, grandmother Jo was. It had been a long time since I had a chance to chat with her…even for a short time. Love you Jo!


***I put a photo of a little Colby coming to visit me years past in her card…and now our girl is leaving the nest.

Da Dah! ..Colby in her moment of glory with family

When I went to check on the garden yesterday afternoon after the sun had been shining for awhile…blooms were popping out all over…even the second Mr. Lincoln rose had popped out. First season I have had two “presidential” roses.


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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1 Response to Learning Life’s Most Important Lessons from my Garden

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Amen…I give God all the glory for my garden. It is truly amazing to watch the seasons for eacb type of plants. I love the Lincoln rose…beautiful

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