School has started and the nights are starting to cool off ever so slightly. Fall is almost here. It is time once more to pull out the various gardening resources and plan the tasks for the new season. I am soon overwhelmed by wisdom and knowledge. As I read and listen to experts, I find myself nodding along amazed at the sage advice, but as soon as I turn to look at my garden, I am paralyzed. Where do I start? What comes first? How does that look in this space?
Even when I get started, something doesn’t look right or a rock or tree root is in the way. The knowledge and wisdom that I have so carefully gathered just doesn’t seem to fit into my garden!
I realize that this challenge is not confined to my landscape but also occupies my life-scape. I can find an abundance of wisdom and knowledge on healthy eating, exercise, sleep, relationships, spiritual well-being, and work-life balance. I accept that it is good and true, but I have a hard time fitting it into my own life.
As I turn back to the garden, I find that the solution to this overwhelming lies in community, counsel, and companionship. In community, I can share my frustrations and my triumphs. I can share some of my burdens and learn from the experience of others. As I seek the counsel of experts, I ask more direct questions about how wisdom applies to my own garden and the unique challenges of my landscape. I may even seek a consultant to help me sort through and prioritize the overwhelming task list. Finally, I enjoy the companionship of a trusted friend who listens without trying to correct, who reminds me of my own experience, who celebrates and cries with me, who asks the difficult questions, and walks with me along the journey.
Perhaps these lessons can carry over from my landscape to my life-scape as well.