Plant love nourishes the soul

Herb seedlings

For 2014 I set a goal to incorporate gardening into my daily routine. Gardening is grounding. It can contribute to our nutrition and self-sufficiency, but also mental health.

Digging the soil comes naturally for me with the enthusiasm of spring, not so much the rest of the year. Summer heat discourages me, while winter keeps me out of the back yard altogether. Any ongoing challenge like this needs to be broken down into small pieces and turned into a habit.

I have begun including plants in my morning ritual for 15 minutes each day. I started in January, the hardest month of all, beginning with the task of looking after a few houseplants that normally suffer from neglect. The earthworms in their chalet are flourishing with more attention.

With those chores looked after, I needed some creativity to keep myself busy through the winter. I ordered seeds from Richters Herbs and planted them early. A few other characters have joined their company, which I will show in due time.

I am not a morning person, but plants help start my day on a better footing. When I trudge downstairs first thing and catch sight of the row of herb seedlings on their sunny windowsill, I feel a door open inside. I am ready for growth and new possibilities.

Look after just one plant or a few. Make time for them every day. They will slow you down to a more thoughtful and effective pace. As their roots spread through the soil in a pot or a small garden, you will dig deeper with them. The relationship will nourish your soul.

5 thoughts on “Plant love nourishes the soul

  1. I love seeing the label for sorrel. My Mom makes a wonderful dish using it, as an accompaniment to roast beef or pork.

    1. I love the taste of sorrel but typically just use it as an alternative where cooked spinach is called for. I’d love to know your mother’s recipe.

  2. Van – you have a wonderful way with words. I really enjoyed the sentence ” I feel a door open inside. I am ready for growth and new possibilities.” it is so true about plants grounding you – many people don’t realize the power of those little seedlings poking their heads up through the dirt and reacting to dribbles of water by flourishing – powerful stuff.

    1. Thanks, Melody, and thanks for reminding me of this two-month-old post. I’ve altered a lot of important habits this year, but none so transformative as gardening for a few minutes first thing every day. It has become second nature. Morning has become a better time, and work falls into a better place behind it. Sustaining this practice through the dog days of July will be the next challenge. I’m interested to see what happens.

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