The Neglected Garden

My friend Steve Tallamy is a guest writer here at Living in Courage. Steve has written “The Neglected Garden” from the heart.  Steve is a nature lover who is very connected to Mother Earth, and her beautiful kingdoms. I look forward to sharing his articles once a month, which are sure to be filled with wisdom, humor and guidance.  Visit Steve at

The Neglected Garden

We have all seen that piece of wasteland in our neighbourhood that the developers get their hands on to turn into luxury flats that no one in that area could possibly afford to buy.  Or we have taken over a new home where the once beautiful garden has long been neglected.  The first thing we or the developers do is to bring in the troops to dig, burn and spray to indiscriminately clear the land of everything that once grew there. Come the spring the land is barren, no colour, no scent, no shape or form.  Except if you look close enough the shoots of those deep rooted tough old thorny brambles and thistles.  These hardy plants (they are plants, not weeds) survive and will flourish again, multiplying year upon year.  Even if we build our new homes or construct new gardens on top them they will eventually push their way through in their desire to live.

These words came to me not when building a new home or giving my garden a makeover.  They came with a brand new awakening from inside of me.  For years I have been on the path of finding the real me, to make a better life for myself, a life of happiness and love with a good chunk of financial stability thrown in.  After beginning my new program of healing, things are become clearer day by day, slowly but surely, bit by bit, I am learning more and more about myself. Now,  I see my former self as that neglected garden, the troops as the many so called Guru’s I have listened to and believed; the digging, burning and spraying are all of the self-development books and videos I have read and watched.  I turned myself into the barren landscape of no colour, scent, shape or form, having stripped myself not only of the unwanted plants but the ones I needed to keep but didn’t recognize. Of course the brambles and thistles of my deep rooted fears now had plenty of room to flourish; choking me with even more self-doubt than ever before and without any shape or form to build upon, my soul became a neglected wasteland again.

The lesson we can all take from this is to look at our gardens before stripping them bare, seek out the beauty, the shapes and forms of our lives that we love and enjoy.  Do this before we clear away the brambles and thistles, nurture the roses and fruit bearing trees and come springtime there will be a balance in our garden and more harmony in our lives.  But never forget to prune and feed it from time to time or the wasteland will return stronger and more powerful than ever before.  Having a love and respect for Nature is having a love and respect for yourself, for you and Nature are one.

Steve Tallamy