Blooming where I’m planted.

I ran the bath last night, and added Dead Sea salt, Clary Sage and Chamomile to soothe my aching muscles. I needed a nailbrush for my dirty nails and I smelt of bonfire. I don’t understand how people manage without a bath, but that’s the subject of a future piece of writing.

I’ve been working on my garden for two days. Travelling a lot, (Chelsea Flower Show included) translates into garden neglect, and along with the wet weather, has resulted in Spring springing quite majestically in my garden and some serious hours of work needed to be put in to regain control. I do quite like the natural look in the garden, though I’m not a ‘manicured' garden type. When the shrubs and flowers blend together well, its as though nature creates its own beautiful picture without the need to have the view looking neat and perfect.

My roses have gone berserk this year; the aromas are heady and intoxicating out there in my courtyard. Somehow my garden seems to help me to grow. Here is where I feel connected with nature, every plant I have planted personally, and I am attached to them all. I feel sad when they don’t survive the harsh winter or the slugs have decided to make a picnic out of my nicer specimens.

I’ve often thought that personally I am a late bloomer. I excel at thinking retrospectively. Here I am, in my mid-fifties, realizing that I’m just about getting the point of life and have learned (not always the easy way) how to cope and deal with life’s challenges.

The writer May Sarton wrote that ‘gardening is one of the rewards of middle age, when one is ready for impersonal passion, a passion that demands patience, acute awareness of a world outside oneself, and the power to keep on growing through all the times of drought, through the cold snows, towards the moments of pure joy when all failures are forgotten and the fruit tree flowers”.

There is much to recommend late blooming. My Alchemy teacher says these years are when we ladies have a chance to become ‘Women of Wisdom’. All our life experience, trials and journeys do have a purpose. Being a late blooming woman of wisdom means that we can take more risks, reinvent ourselves, rediscover and reclaim our essence after years of nurturing others.

I had a wonderful spiritual teacher when I lived in the Philippines. I used to lament the fact that the travelling life I have chosen has me trying hard to establish myself wherever I am, and then just when I am beginning to bloom, I’m often uprooted and moved. ‘Ah Julie’ she said, “you have to bloom wherever you are planted’.

Living in the present moment means that I have exchanged tropical plants for English roses, mosquitoes for bees, orioles for blackbirds and all in all it’s a wonderful life.


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