DisturbingClarity… from the Garden

Every season is a chance for a new beginning. A chance for success and a chance for failure. And they will come. Some failures will seem insignificant. Some will floor you. Some successes will seem small and unimportant. Some will leave you with a renewed sense of purpose. But every season is an opportunity for improvement on the last.

Hardships will come and death is imminent, but we must try. We must continue. We have to care and love.

An untended garden looks untended. The signs are all around. Weeds are inevitable. They will always come. Pluck them out while they are small but be diligent. Some weeds are beneficial. It’s important to do your best to identify them early. Pluck them out and get rid of them if they serve no purpose. Relocate them to a safer place if you want to keep them but they’re choking out something purposefully planted. You are in control.

Each day go out and see the growth, the damage, the thirst, the bounty. Serve it. Recognize it for what it is. Call it by its name. Be grateful and glad, humbled or sad if that is what the moment calls for.

Each day we start anew with dreams and goals and plans. In the beginning you doubted every step. You agreed with them when they said you would probably fail, but you did it anyway. And now you have the confidence to break new ground and start fresh. You know when and how to pluck things out of each space in your garden where you don’t want them to grow. You have the knowledge and bravery to let some things you didn’t plan happen anyway and the freedom to allow yourself to be excited about their possibilities.

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Just open your eyes each day and remember that journey you’ve taken so many times that often began with fear, loneliness, self-doubt and ended in joy and bounty. Do that, and each season remind yourself that this is the beginning of something new. Recognize the challenges and anticipate the hard work.

Remember the pride of the harvest and the laughter over shared meals and all the good things you are going to get to make out of it. Some things will immediately be consumed but you will have extra. Extra to share and to save. Extra to turn into something completely different and useful. To use as a teaching tool when you have the opportunity.

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Soon the ground will be frozen again. The soil will be cold and barren in some areas. That’s ok, it just means you need to see to other important things and wait in faith that your favorite things will come back around.

img_3658Everyone’s garden looks different but there isn’t one single person who cannot benefit from tending his own. What do you have? A small container on the balcony or in the windowsill? Plant what you hope will grow there. It will be enough. It will be something where there once was nothing. You can say, “I grew this,” “I am proud of this”. You can reach out if you get into trouble and ask for help. Ask anyone you can find. Don’t take just anyone’s advice though. Mind your instincts and be patient. Some things take a long time to come to fruit. Sometimes they’re beautiful. They are sweet and perfect and truly something special.

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The hard truth is though, they aren’t always worth the trouble that you put in. Sometimes they just don’t work out. And my best advice to you is, make damn sure you get something out of the journey or the season will seem to have been wasted. You will be hurt and bitter, maybe resentful or sad. Maybe all of it.

But did you know that it’s ok to be sad. When you’ve taken the time and given the love and effort and it just doesn’t work out in the end, why shouldn’t you be sad? But be sad and grateful for the knowledge. Be humbled and excited about what you could do differently next time.

Did something get in and destroy your whole crop this year? Do you need to build a new fence or just repair a spot in the old one? Do that. It doesn’t matter if you got lazy and did something careless. If you didn’t know you needed to make your fence stronger this year than it was last year.

You are not responsible for predicting what everyone else will do. Just learn from it. Make sure intruders know you have your boundaries clearly marked. Get back up and dry your tears and put the pieces together a little differently this time. And go try again.

There are some things that other gardeners in my area grow every year and they have beautiful harvests. Some things that I have tried several years in a row to grow and failed. It just isn’t meant to be for me and my garden. It was disappointing at first but at least now I know. I still keep planting them hoping they will surprise me and grow well, but I don’t spend any time worrying over them anymore.

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I plant other things I know will grow here because they always do. And each year I plant something new and experimental just to see if I can. What will it be this year? I haven’t decided. It’s too late to start some things. I know this. That’s what all the books say. That’s what my gardener friends or mentors will tell me. But I also know that my whole life has been a series of the world under- estimating me, telling me I can’t or I shouldn’t. So, I might try it anyway, just to see if I can.

 

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Enjoy the time you spend making the callouses my friends. Let them heal for a season and start again. You and your garden are worth the daily watering, every day you got up just a little early to beat the heat, every fence you built to protect what’s yours, every repair you’ve made to the landscape and every tool you’ve bought that you bought because you needed it for one specific purpose. All worth it. Pay attention and enjoy.

 

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~Karen Bradberry

Hi! I am the owner and sole writer for “DisturbingClarity”, a humorous yet factual blog found at http://www.disturbingclarity.com. I began this blog in effort to try to fill in the gaps for travelers like myself, ready for adventure and avoiding disaster. I have also found myself writing about food and gardening and living your best life! I hope you enjoy these articles and please feel free to make suggestions. I would love to hear your ideas!

disturbingclarity@gmail.com

 

Digesting the Day

Today, my co-workers and I, spent the day at Eupepsia Wellness Center in the beautiful mountains of Virginia. Nestled along a hillside surrounded by small creeks and wooded areas, looking very much out of place, and yet, right at home at the same time, Eupepsia, who's motto is: the alchemy of digesting life, sits awaiting your personal or company retreat.

We are greeted by numerous friendly- faced hosts and hostesses upon our entrance to the property. I took this video of my walk down the porch later on after lunch.

Our morning began with freshly made pastries of all sorts, some with cheese and some with fruit, coffee and tea. For some of us, who are often nervous at these sort of required gatherings, arrival time can set the tone for the whole day. I am pleased to report that everyone quickly relaxed into casual conversation and greetings of coworkers we don't often see. This was helped along by welcoming staff wearing name tags and eager to speak to any lone wolves.

I didn't catch all the details, but I understand that the staff was brought in from Dubai and they make everything from scratch. Naturally, me being me, I couldn't wait to see what was on the lunch menu.

But instead of seeking that out we got on with our morning company business and mini training sessions, readying ourselves for a productive school year. (We are all Therapeutic Day Treatment counselors and work within the schools in several counties in Virginia. )

After our trainings, which were short and sweet, the staff got underway providing us with opportunities for a myriad of team-building exercises. I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil the surprise for you if your company is kind enough to book a day here, but wear comfortable shoes and clothes. We all had a great time with the activities, which seemed challenging but not impossible, and definitely made us feel like we could trust each other and work together.

Now the best part of my day trip here to Eupepsia Wellness Center was… you guessed it… LUNCH! Everything was vegetarian, although, they did use cream, cheese and probably butter in some things. So, if you are like me and lactose intolerant, be prepared for that.

At the end of the day we did a few more activities which helped us hone in on our personal differences and strengths within our groups. The staff then showed us a short video of our experiences during the day, which was anywhere from well- received to downright hilarious.
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I feel I can speak for most of our group in saying that this was one of the most enjoyable and beneficial beginning of the year meetings we have had. I would love to return to Eupepsia, especially since it is only 15 minutes from Wytheville and very easily accessible by car.

If you would like to book your company or personal retreat at Eupepsia, you can do that here.