Am I Growing As Well As My Garden?

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I was having a little bit of a “pouty” party…I have been scared to hardly walk through my garden for the frustration of not being able to work in it like I love…so many pine cones still down and sticks that by now I, normally, would have picked up and wheel barreled out of there in droves. But I can’t risk getting dirt or a stick stuck to my dressing at this late date in the foot recovery.

Yet what I discovered when I did bravely stroll past the fence and began looking beyond the winter storms’ debris… was life returning…beautiful life in the color of green…from underground, from hanging baskets and large planters…all sprouting up and smiling at me as if to say…”It’s okay mom…I’ve got this…I know how to grow all on my own…no need to worry.”  Here are some examples!

“All’s right with the world” without me having to be in charge all the time…the Best Gardener around is taking care of things. So am I growing as well as my garden with the same amount of unconditional faith? …”No” but lessons learned from my garden are helping me get there!

(I did pick out a few petunia beds from tiny planters and a mixed bag of other little flowers to plant.I sat in the warm sun yesterday (what a difference a day makes in March) on my front porch steps and planted the “title” photo flowers, along with some bright red “Pot-unias” (as they are called) in a little wooden basket. It cheered me up immediately. I had enough  flowers left over to plant a hanging basket and for the first time I could place it on Eva Cate’s Japanese Maple…its branches are strong enough now.)

While all this was going on…Cindy sent me a link to blog post from a blogger (Kristin Espinasse) who lives in France with her husband. They are in the wine business and travel to the United States a couple of times a year… so she was staying with her sister in Colorado and while there visiting some beautiful botanical gardens.

Like me she started feeling badly about neglecting her own garden with time consumed both on her blog and the wine business. She took the vacation time to think about ideas to better balance her life. Here are some excerpts from her musings…after three weeks away from home.

Today marks three weeks away from my desk and it is beginning to show me something about the creative process:

Writing is 20 or 30 or 40 percent of the effort…

The other 60 or 70 or 80 percent is the “steam engine” behind the story: it is the words and sentences that file through your brain throughout the day and sometimes at night, no matter where you are–at home or away on vacation.

What was the F. Scott Fitzgerald book in which two characters, a husband and wife, are at a dinner party and the wife looks over at the husband whose lips are moving as he stares at the ceiling?

“Darling! What are you doing?” She says.

I’m working! He snips.

The writing engine never stops completely (oh, the stories I’ve begun in my head since landing in the U.S. None have made it to the physical composition stage, and yet all of them have kept me occupied, or preoccupied).

I am not complaining about any of this, but want to highlight a little pépin, or glitch, about creation: It can slowly wear you down. 

It is so true what Kristin says about the writing process…I have done the majority of the blog post work before I type the first letter….creative writing is continuously going on in one’s mind and imagination long before it hits the paper.

I, also, like Kristin’s thoughts on changing her attitude towards the work needed to restore her garden.

“I had thought my garden had gone to pot, but I now see many of the plants are surviving the neglect. It gives me hope and a goal for when I return to France next week. It is a simple plan, and here it is:

Water. Tend. Visit. 

Water the plants and also the dreams you’ve forgotten. Lovingly tend the garden and the precious hours in your day. Visit the seedlings and other blooming things (new friendships, new interests.)”

Source: “My French Garden and Retirement.” Kristin Espinassee


So until tomorrow Father…Please help me turn more worries over to You to handle and show me how to live a life of faith like my plants, flowers, and trees do in my garden. They don’t worry…they just bloom under Your guidance.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

While I was working on the blog I heard a familiar voice calling…it was Gin-g bringing a pineapple shaped soft soap canister which smells like pineapple…divine. We always have such a fun visit…and this time was no different except we started laughing hysterically over three “un-funny” pre-tests Gin-i is facing today.

What is it about human nature when we are pushed to the limit? We either break down, melt down, or lose it laughing hysterically. We chose the latter. We laughed until tears came down.

It was just the release Gin-g needed and I apparently needed too. Growing older with medical obstacles lurking around every corner seems to be contagious these days. Gin-g has to face, not one, or two, but three “challenging” pre-tests today to see if she is even eligible for some needed surgery regarding her esophagus…a condition complicated by her asthma.

On a more serious note…prayers would be greatly appreciated today. Gin-g just wants to get through each of the preliminary hurdles without getting sick so she can finally get the relief she needs to resume eating normally again without pain. That is our hope and prayer for you also Gin-g! You got this girl!

*Don’t forget the BIG DAY will  finally be here tomorrow for the Anne’s ART SHOW featuring Susan Baughman, Donna Boerema, and Irish sculptor and painter, Martin De Porres Wright. Please drop by and absorb the beauty of art here, there, and everywhere.

***In my zest to get the word out about the reception, art show and sale tomorrow afternoon/evening at Anne’s house…I forgot Anne had mentioned that Martin was giving our mayor of Summerville a piece of his Irish artwork.

It took place last evening on Short Central in front of the art gallery and from all appearances seemed to be a lot of fun and quite a success!!! Hope some of you happened upon it if you were out on Third Thursday browsing the town shops or simply stopped by to speak to Anne’s wonderful Irish guests.


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Am I Growing As Well As My Garden?

  1. Beverly Dufford says:

    The weather is just right to keep your garden coming to life. Glad you are taking the doctor’s advise and keeping that foot clean and dry. As you see, Mother Nature has a way of doing her thing without our help all the time. I have certainly added Gin-g to my prayer list. If you go to doctor today for usual Friday visit, I trust everything will be better, and soon and very soon , it will be just a bad memory.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you Jo! I just got back from the doctor…and he promises that next week is “TE” Day…The End. There will still be compression socks and special care to look after that foot..but I will have been officially dismissed…wound healed. Am getting ready to check in with Gin-g in just a few minutes and will update on the blog post tomorrow.


  2. bcparkison says:

    Prayers for Gin-g. And…I love the pot on the can. HEHE


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thanks…will update Gin-g’s progress on tomorrow’s blog post…getting ready to check in with her in just a few minutes….I love the pot on the water can too….a new “hair-do” for the replica water can/planter.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rachel Edwards says:

    Thanks for the prayers and the laughter…just what I needed sweet friend…


  4. Lynn Gamache says:

    Good Morning dear Becky…Just after 5:00a.m. here and I’m up, awake and have just read your latest blog. Loved hearing about your garden as it slowly emerges from the dark and damp of winter. May each green shoot shout “hallelujah” as it breaks free from the dirt and debris of another winter season! I was in our vegetable garden yesterday picking fresh kale that had somehow survived our recent cold and snowy days. Also noticed a few clumpings of green lettuce and a handful of onions that had managed to survive too….plus noticed green leaves of holleyhocks pushing upwards too, and the nubbins of some fresh rhubarb…can almost taste those pies and jam already!! There is just something special about fresh cooked rhubarb that sings spring to my spirit…and nothing quiet like fresh raspberry/rhubarb jam too!

    Then, curious to know more about the art show today. Wish we lived closer and I’d be there as I love art of all kinds, and learning of new techniques always interests me too. So amazing to hear of your friends using peat as part of their medium for painting. And what type of paintings would these be…impressionistic? Would enjoy knowing what the act ual paintings are depicting as the photos sent aren’t real clear. Also curious to know about the poem or other inscription above the painting. Maybe enough comments and questions for this time….Blessings, Lynn


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I will try to go a little early and get some more pictures of the artists and some of their works…if I don’t get to talk to Martin personally to find out I am sure Anne understand the procedure now and once things settle down later this week I will check with her about Martin’s peat process and the wonder of the Irish bogs.


      • Lynn Gamache says:

        Thanks so much, Becky. As you have time I look forward to hearing from you again.
        For now, continue to enjoy your reading. I second the motion that this is one of the best “retreats” anyone can have. So awesome that we can travel most anywhere by arm chair, isn’t it? And someday I do hope I get to return to NCarolina (have a dear friend who lives there in the pretty town of Franklin) and maybe we too can travel, for real, by car, and discover the little CHAPEL OF HOPE in the woods. Since I too am a cancer survivor (double mastectomies, chemo, radiation and the works!). But this was all about 22 yrs ago….then they thought I might have ten years at most considering my medical history (my dear mother passed away age 47 with breast cancer). But our doctors, kind as they are, and as much as they know— they are not God. Only He knows the number of our days. One of my favourite verses is Proverbs 4:18 “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter until the full day”. To me this says my life is not so much about the number of my days, but the progress I make during the days my Father chooses to give me. “Today is a gift for it is the present”….May I live well today in the present, ever pressing on for the goal of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus my Lord. Blessings, Lynn
        P.S. SO grateful with you for the great news received from the Wound Clinic on Friday.


  5. Becky Dingle says:

    Amen to all you said…it spoke volumes and is all true as I too keep experiencing with each new challenge…today I am just glad to alive with hope intact and happiness in bounds.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.