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Summer Breeze Summer Breeze
Recommendations: 19

I AM MORE


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Not really an essay, kind of a thought progression. I just needed to share.


For the past two years I have been trying to ‘find’ my calling, my passion, the one job that suits me so well I will be able to do it with joy and true commitment. I started out with four main things I was good at, and took a job bank course with questionnaires that were supposed to reveal the hidden gem. To my surprise, I ended up with the same four things on the list: a counselor, an artist, a writer/editor, a gardener. Then we were supposed to go out and research each one to see which fit the best. I did all that and narrowed it down to gardener. I will take Horticulture, I thought, and make my creative, environmentalist dreams comes true. The artist in me could express herself in design there as well. I started sending out resumes in March to catch all of the garden centre opportunities. I didn’t want to miss the season. Months and many attempts later, I learned that I would have to remain in retail to even get a foot in the door, the centres were controlled. The employees–even those who knew nothing about plants–got first dibs.
Disillusioned by the system, I turned to college. I would take courses I needed to be able to go elsewhere, to places where the employer wanted a person who cared about the plants. This became my goal: to get my license and go further afield. That was a challenge in itself, getting my license, after twenty years of being housebound and afraid to go further than my bike could take me-about a mile in any direction. It took me months to make it to my daughter’s school alone! But I have my G1 now - a miracle. And I have purchased a better computer to take online courses. I am signed up for a driver’s ed course too. I start next week.
All of this required me to remain working at a ridiculously stressful pace in a coffee shop though, just to pay the rent while I muck about trying to get my education. Then, last weekend, I had an interview, a test run if you will, with a team of private gardeners. I was hopeful and excited. Finally, a lead! It took me an hour and a half by bus to get to the location where I would work. I spent four hours showing them what I could do, talking about how I prefer to garden and learning their expectations of me. It all looked so good: the hours I wanted, the pay was better, their style of gardening was similar to mine.... And that’s why I felt so disappointed when they told me they were part of a cult. I was to have a trial run then be initiated. Well I don’t want to be initiated. And so began my reawakening to man's love of labels. Tonight, as I write this, I have been turning things over and over in my mind and I have come to the conclusion that I AM MORE.
I am more than just a gardener. Who said we had to be just one thing? Do one job? We have been given more than one gift to serve others, why can’t our job reflect ALL of them? I started out with four potential ones anyway, that means I am more than just one thing! I am even more than four! I am SO MUCH MORE than four!
“What religion are you?” I was asked.
“I am not religious, I am more spiritual,” I replied.
“Well, in what way?” he asked.
Why do I have to put a name to it? “I commune with trees, I get my peace from nature.”
“That’s Pagan,” he said.
“My ancestry is Druid, but that doesn’t mean I’m a Druid.”
“That’s Pagan too."
Why must I be called anything? I am not a gardener, I garden. I paint. I have a child so I am called a mother. It doesn’t make me just that either.
And then I took it further and thought about the way I garden. Man has this tendency to take out things he doesn’t like or want, regardless if it is necessary. Is that tree branch hanging over your path annoying you? Cut it off. Would nature cut it off? No, she grows and shares her abundance freely. Snow will weigh that branch down in the winter, but the birds and squirrels will take shelter behind it from the cold wind. Those stalks we chop short, those seed pods we deadhead, all are meant to provide for another creature, or to propagate the plant. NATURE WASTES NOTHING. Even her remains are used. I garden with this in mind. She wouldn’t do it so neither will I. I wait to remove the soggy leaves in the spring, when fragile new shoots need help finding the sun. I cut back the rose stalks when they are brown. The bush dies off as much as it feels it needs to without me deciding for it.
Where am I going with all this? To acceptance, I suppose, that I am not your ‘standard’ gardener or mom or ANYTHING. Not even a mate or lover or friend who is all happy or all sad or angry all the time. I am a mix of all of it and it comes and goes depending on the circumstances I face. I AM MORE than the labels placed upon me. I am myself.


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