The past decade was filled with unanticipated life-changing events. 2019 had more hiccups than the other 9 years. As a gardener, when I pause to consider this decade or season, everything that I could not imagine happening …kind of happened. 2019 made me realize that time is precious. Yes, I knew this, but somehow it was more evident.
I anticipated the best garden season ever… until a groundhog took up residence in my back forty. Deciding to plant in pots to deter him was my plan. The groundhog threw out my plants like they were in his way. I built a wire barrier and I think he watched while laughing at my efforts. By the way, throwing shoes out the window as he terrorizes a once beautiful terrace garden does not work. Oh, the countless hours I spent trying to discourage him are embarrassing! I declared a truce of sorts.
There were many memories created in 2019. The Garden Bloggers Fling allowed me to enjoy other like-minded Garden Bloggers for a relaxed adventure as we enjoyed Denver. The Denver Botanic Garden is one of my favorite gardens, so I made sure I spent an extra day. I even found time to send with a dear friend, Winston Walker. I got a personal tour of the African American community in Denver and we shared a wonderful meal at Le French Bakery and Cafe.
The Garden Bloggers Fling and Botanical Interests made sure we saw some of the best gardens in Denver. I m sure I was not the only Blogger who was inspired by the gardens we visited. The GB Fling is not just an opportunity to see gardens, but a chance to cultivate new friendships as well. Luan is not just a person I met in Denver, but a new seedling, I call friend, in my life garden. As hosts, seeing their specialized operations up close and personal was quite the treat. Knowing where your seeds come from, how they are handled and recognizing quality is important to me as a seedaholic. I am perusing their 2020 seed catalog to place my order early.
Sharing a journey back to Buffalo, New York to see more gardens included in the 2019 Buffalo Garden Walk. Supporting my peers in GardenComm is very important to me. I also discovered that there were other interesting things about Buffalo that I could relate to from a historical perspective. From the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church to Broderick Park to the Niagra Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center – I took note that Buffalo is more than just it’s gardens.
August Reset 2019 was unlike other years. I included England to my Paris adventure…and a few fellow travelers as well. My Aunt who had never been out of the country, a couple of friends, including Eileen (a garden club member) were a part of this year’s journey. It was a test to see if I could make this dream of exploring garden tourism a reality. While it did not actually give me time to reset, I did realize that this is something I truly enjoy and will do again. I definitely took a lot of notes and have a plan in place.
Memories made in 2019 were not all pleasant. I realized that salt is not my friend, rest is important and that I too need to realize that I am aging in place. Eating healthy, followed up by a few more chips than needed, reading the night away, squeezing in a little gardening, and putting in 9+ hours of a full-time job – not to mention lack of sleep was beginning to take its toll. I have been forced to put things into perspective. The superwoman cape has been donated to GoodWill. I am actually okay with this.
One of my favorite uncles lost his fight to live in spite of dialysis. I did not know as we planned for a revisit in 2020, that my meal with Winston was the last one. Looking forward to seeing Toni Morrison in person was now really never going to happen. I allowed my words and my thoughts to be interrupted by watching the news daily, incessantly and being overly cautious. Like many people, current events began to infiltrate my spirit, my joie de vivre. The words of my favorite guy, my Dad resonated in my head and heart. Dad would often say “Teres, just be still. Just enjoy some quiet time.” So I did and it has been great. I even got rid of the bubble on Precious butt – it was not cancerous!!! We still play tug of war at 4:45 in the morning…doesn’t everyone??
I will not linger on the other losses of 2019…beause 2020 represents clarity. After all, things that a hard for us, inevitably makes us stronger…or so it has been said.
CULTIVATING MY LIFE GARDEN
One of the most important things in 2019 involved committing to realizing who I am. One of my favorite things is to share how wonderful it is to garden organically, be as natural as possible and being authentic. It is one thing to talk the talk, but to walk the walk takes courage. I decided to go natural – gray, no hair accessories (as my daughter called them) and be authentically ME. In July, I decided to trust the journey and just be naturally, authentically me.
I did not announce it because this is a personal journey. Feeling unsure about how I would be accepted, was quiet. I even clipped on a “friend” to make others comfortable.
I even had a “backup friend for the just in case”. The things women go through for so-called beauty.
For years, I had assimilated for what the world accepted as a professional ethnic hairstyle. From braids, half wigs, wigs, weaves and more, I assimilated. In 2019, on a rather hotter than hot day, I decided to make good on a promise I made to myself. It is a decision I will not regret in the foreseeable future. For once I realize that my personal comfort matters. I matter and I have a say in my existence. I also offer a unique perspective of what is important to me – especially all things garden. It is time to be authentically ME.
2020 – CLARITY ON THE HORIZON
Cheers to Clarity! Time to say goodbye to what I call the “Silent Drama of 2019”. I will not tiptoe into 2020, but I will go boldly and be ready for whatever comes my way. Most people who really know me know that I am not the resolution type of woman. I make commitments to myself. My major commitment to myself is to be PRESENT. I might even revisit a quarterly newsletter or a podcast…STAY TUNED!
What are you leaving in 2019 as a memory? What is the one word that speaks to how you will walk into 2020? Will you be authentic or will you assimilate?
Teri, Cottage In The Courtby