If There’s A Bear In Your Garden…

I have never been a “real” gardener. As a child, my dad planted a mint garden for me in the backyard because he liked gardening and I love mint. But, there wasn’t much required of me. Our family had a veggie garden, too, but I barely remember helping Mom pick and wash a few things. As I got older, we lived in apartments. Mom always had ferns, and sometimes flowers, in pots, but I wasn’t enthusiastic about growing things myself. The times I adopted a potted plant, it usually became neglected and died.

As a teen, when I visited my dad I regularly went to peruse local nurseries with him, but mostly just because I wanted to spend time with him and he wanted to garden shop. I might have enjoyed it more if I’d had a garden of my own to plant and tend, but I didn’t. And invariably, the plants I was interested in were not near whatever my dad was looking at. And losing my dad in a store was not a good idea. When I was a tiny child, if he couldn’t find mom or us kids when he wanted us – he left. Without us. It’s been decades since he’s done that, but I still fear it. I can remember too vividly the fear and anguish, as a five-year-old unable to find my parents and racing out to the parking lot to see if the car was still there – then hanging around near the entrance, hoping to spot him before he left.

Even now, in my thirties, that same fear haunts me every time I go shopping with my dad. No matter how many times he hasn’t done it, I don’t want to wander too far for fear this time will be the one time he does. And even the other day, when I drove myself to the store, to meet up with him and shop for plants – I was nearly in tears when I looked up from the rows of herbs, trying to find a Sage for my Scarborough Fair herb garden, when I happened to see him second in line to check out. Not a word to me that he was even done shopping. He looked kind of sheepish when our eyes met. I don’t know what my expression was like, but I’d imagine bewildered and hurt.

I am starting to learn that I need to take care of myself, first. I was always a Daddy’s Girl as a child, but have realized more of his faults the older I get. I still love him, and care about him. But, I need to grow up and apart from him. I mustn’t make the mistake of leaning on him, when I am afraid to stand on my own. I know God is trying to teach me to stand, or lean on Him; but it’s hard to do and sometimes I just want to do what’s easy. Most of my life has been spent running from what scared me, though, and I don’t want to keep wasting my life. I’m tired of living with regrets, and having all these years with nothing to show for them. I want to see what my life would be like if I let God lead the way. I have long believed He created me for a purpose, and at times thought I knew what it was. I don’t know for sure what it might be, at the moment, but I do feel He’s been preparing me lately for something.

My dreams for myself are to build a home-based business so that I can support myself financially. I want to buy a modest home in a small town or country-like setting with a good church (although, I also dream of returning to Independence, Missouri, where I lived as a child (and had that mint garden) which isn’t small-town or country-ish, really, but holds a dear place in my heart), most likely in a different state than I currently live, and be a bit of a homesteader. Hence, my foray into container gardening on my balcony. I love the idea of growing my own food and preserving it. And if I intend to do that large-scale in the future, I figure I’d better start building my knowledge and skills now. “Turn your waiting room into your classroom”, Jess of Roots and Refuge says.

Part of me yearns for independence and adventure, while a part of me is quick to remind the rest that a million things could go wrong and I’d be better off staying safe- near familiar people and places. Even if I am unhappy. I get frustrated that good changes happen so slowly when bad ones seem to take place in the blink of an eye. But, I keep reminding myself that God has perfect timing. I just need to trust and wait on Him. And all those years I wasn’t? The Bible promises that God can redeem them, too. I think that’s very exciting!

These flowers are called “SuperBells”, and I believe it is the color that is named “Honeyberry”. Pooh spotted them and had to have them, despite my attempts to convince him they aren’t a source of hunny.

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