Plant Murderer


“Grow lemongrass,” they said… “You can’t kill it!”, they said. Well, I did. 

I’d show you the rest of my herb garden but there’s not much point- it all looks the same! 

I think the time has come to admit that I’m not much of a gardener. I wanna be; God knows I’ve tried to be! This particular herb garden would have to be, I reckon, attempt #6,235…or thereabouts. But every time it’s the same thing- I start well, maybe forgetting to water my plants here & there but doing good for the most part. And then something happens, and I lose my rhythm, and my garden dies. Usually it’s weather-related, like several successive days of 40+degree heat (like this time), or a solid week of torrential rain…whatever “it” is, it always signals the end for my poor plants. 

At the beginning of this year my kids and I moved to a new town, to start a new life. The move has had its challenges, of course, but overall I’ve personally felt revived by coming here. You could say our little family was like a freshly planted garden, all green and pretty and full of life. 

Beautiful aromas, succulent fruit and pretty blossoms are some of the results you get from caring well for plants, and I felt like my life was like that, after coming here.* I started feeling like my life was full of beautiful things like joy and peace, and endless possibilities. I let go of old ways of thinking and believing that had me emotionally, mentally & spiritually bound. I began to understand grace better, and I started seeing it everywhere. I started experiencing love more deeply and intensely. 

And then, cancer. Talk about an unexpected turn…suddenly the beautiful life I’d seen unfolding before me started getting hazy. I couldn’t see it so clearly. And the love & grace I’d just begun to enjoy was harder to feel. 

Now we’re looking down the barrel of another move, back to where we came from. It feels like failure. It pisses me off. I already miss the serenity here even though I haven’t left yet. The beautiful path ahead now looks a bit like my dead herb garden. 

But you know, the beautiful thing about life is that, even if you’re a shitty gardener like me, you can always start again. I’ll plant a new herb garden in my new place. And we’ll get a few good meals out of the stuff I grow before I murder my next lot of plants. And after they die, I’ll plant again. 

This patch of territory up ahead looks like rough terrain. It might be hard for things like grace and love to grow. But it won’t last forever, and those things will grow again. 
*The gorgeous little town of Dungog in the Hunter Valley, NSW, where my kids and I moved to from Maitland early 2017. It’s famous for hosting a big and awesome Mumford and Sons concert a while ago, and for providing the setting for the Aussie TV show, “The Secret Daughter”.

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