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“It’s not the garden—it’s the gardening that counts.” ~Comedian Hannah Gadsby’s grandmother

Each January many of us take stock of the past year—its course and results—and then determine our present location and this year’s desired destination.

Asking questions like, where am I now and how’d I get here and where do I want to go now? What course adjustments are required to get there?

And then, what will I need for the journey—what do I want to take with me?

We rarely, however, ask what we’ll leave behind, what has become too burdensome or takes too much space to continue to carry with us?

I know folks who have huge suitcases full of past hurts yet refuse to set them down even though their arms are worn out from the carrying.

Every start will at some point demand a stop.

Every hello eventually becomes a goodbye.

~          ~          ~          ~          ~

This passage struck me recently, from The Price of Spring by Daniel Abraham:

“The flower that wilted last year is gone. Petals once fallen are fallen forever. Flowers do not return in the spring, rather they are replaced. It is in this difference between returned and replaced that the price of renewal is paid. And as it is for spring flowers, so it is for us.”

Crops are planted each spring, grown, nourished, harvested, and then the soil is turned, readying it for the next season.

And every garden requires someone who cares about what grows there, tends to it, removing weeds and deadened debris. Unless we simply don’t care where we’re headed or what weeds are destroying our garden.

Rather, we must recognize that previous plantings, now gone, return to the soil, blend and become part of it leaving our personal gardens with a flavour of the past, even as it relinquishes it.

We cannot carry the past into the future forever.

Renewal just doesn’t work that way.

“Ah, well. It’s all part of the soup. Too late to take the onions out.” ~Hannah’s wise grandmother again

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