Lessons from a Garden


shrubs by my workshop door

As I was pruning some bushes by my workshop door, amazed at how tall and full they had grown in such a short amount of time, I had a flashback to my first adult experience of gardening.

Years ago, When I was a flight attendant, I met a man on one of my fllights who became one of my spiritual teachers. Even though he was retired from a fortune 500 company, Phillips had spent many years working with nature spirits and earth religions. I soon spent many quiet, peacefiul weekends at his private nature reserve on Van Couver Island.

A few mornings after arriving on one of my visits, Phillips asked me if I would enjoy spending time that night in his outside hot tub, underneath the winter stars. Thinking about how cold it would be getting out of it after, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this. So I didn’t give him an answer.

Later that day, Phillips called me out to a small fenced in garden that I hadn’t seen before.

photo by edboyden.org

He wanted me to help him weed this pitifully, overgrown -no sign of even one vegetable- plot of land.  As  we went about pulling out the weeds, he asked me very quietly and calmly why I was so rude to him earlier.

I could feel my feathers start to ruffle- “Me rude! I am NEVER rude”- I roared out! How dare he say that! As we continued to weed- me getting angrier by the minute, he gently asked me why I didn’t answer his question about using the hot tub.  This stopped me for a second and then I blurted out “well I didn’t know if I wanted to or not-does that make me rude?” I asked.

“Why didn’t you just tell me that?”  Phillips asked calmly.   “By not answering,  it was like you were ignoring me- like I don’t matter. Can you understand how that feels?”

And then I realized that in a very loving way, without judgement, Phillips was helping me to really see myself.  He was “weeding” me.

And he was so right- as innocent as my blunder might have been, I was dishonoring him–the way I felt I was dishonored as a child. Like I wasn’t important.

I apologized and grieved -looking inside at my  weeds as I continued to helped clean out  this garden.


One week later, I flew back to his sanctuary and Phillips called me to see the garden. I couldn’t believe my eyes- never had I seen such gigantic, healthy vegetables. Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Lettuce- as full and tall as the shrubs I was pruning today.

photo by funpiz.blogspot.com

It was magical- and it showed me that if we take time to weed out the bad stuff in our lives, we can grow more vibrant and healthier then we’ve ever dreamed…

And I feel that I am well on my way…are you?


About lynadawn

Faux finisher certified w/ City and Guilds of London Dec Art and Restoration. Author, teacher, consultant, co-host Artistically Speaking Radio Show. Also creative brainstormer, love to laugh, latte anyone?
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6 Responses to Lessons from a Garden

  1. Tracy Wade says:

    How cute are you! What a fun exercise in weeding!

    • lynadawn says:

      LOL- thanx Tracy–
      it was anything but fun when it was happening, but an experience I will never forget—
      and I’ve been growing freely and healthilly since!

  2. Lesley Anne Kinney says:

    A lovely and meaningful story Lyna. If only it was as easy to weed out our own faults as it is to weed a garden. I remember that feeling as a child, I must try not to do that to my son.
    How lucky you are to have met such a special person as Phillip.

  3. lynadawn says:

    yes- I ‘ve been blessed through the years to have many such lessons….

  4. Julie Dexter says:

    A wonderful story, Lyna. Yes….a very important lesson. How can we find our own weeds, let alone, be rid of them? Can we recognize the negative aspects of ourselves? It takes much diligence & introspection. It takes humility and calming our egos. It is important to learn how to “witness” ourselves and our actions….and how those actions might affect others. Like weeds in an untended garden…..you are so correct & I love the metaphor- our own weeds can take over and suffocate us.
    How very wonderful to have found such an important “person” (or shall I say he found you) for some unexpected guidance. but even more exciting is that you recognized the teachings. xxoo

  5. lynadawn says:

    They say when you are ready, the teacher comes….
    and since then , I try to be more mindful of my interactions with people.

    Thank you and thank you for the metaphor of our weeds taking over and saffocating us- how true!

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