Pitted, split open and not quite fully ripe, yet still the proud fruits of my labor—I picked the first two tomatoes from my garden yesterday. I am guided by my current mantra, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” As I look at my scarred and far-from-perfect bounty, I marvel at the smooth, red tomatoes found in the sterile light of grocery stores. But those flawless orbs don’t bring a swelling of pride to my chest. All of my fumbling as a junior gardener has paid off—I have two whole tomatoes! And there are a few more yet to come, some still green and some just tiny white blossoms.
When I’m in my garden, I’m present. I’m pulling weeds. I’m watering. And sometimes, I’m even picking a few things. All the while, I only hear birds—robins, crows, the occasional woodpecker and many other voices call out and sing to one another. I see grasshoppers bouncing around and bees visiting my bright pink and white cosmos. Sometimes there’s a gentle breeze. Sometimes the sun shines in a deep, blue sky and other times gray clouds mute its brilliance. I don’t look at my phone. I don’t respond to emails. It’s just me with my hands in the dirt. Some days I work through emotions. Each weed I yank out decompresses my frustration. Filling and emptying my watering can becomes a way to let go of sadness, literally pouring it out. Meanwhile, I’m just figuring out how to do this—how to grow things— and trying not to take it too seriously. I am fully present in my garden, giving, nurturing and letting go all at the same time: I find therapy in the dirt.
Where do you find your therapy?