• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Grieving the loss of a garden

 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 543
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
dear permies,

I just had an impulse to post this. I had to move out of a house several years ago and leave my first garden. I wept, I went to my men's group and did a "process" and talked to the garden spirits and thanked them for all they'd given me and asked them to take care of the new people who would live in that house. It helped somewhat. Losing a home, losing a homeland, losing soil, these are things of mythic proportion. Acknowledging the feelings helped.

I would say I still carry some of the resistant thoughts I started having at that time. It gave me more understanding of others' freak-out about my gardening habit, why they were so hysterically opposed to it. I saw myself want to give up, watch TV, just pretend the whole thing didn't matter. Eat drink and be merry. If I, who loved the beauty of nature more than anything else, could abandon that relationship, because it hurt too much, to have it end, then I imagined those other people must have had some painful experience that wounded their relationship to nature. I think Joana Macy (?) does stuff about this, healing people's emotional relationship with the earth or something? I don't know, anyway, my own experience is what I can speak about, and I just found it helped to acknowledge what i was feeling.

I had always or long perceived myself as being 'unable to access my emotions" and uncaring about a lot of thnigs other people care about. People, for example. It didn't really bother me that people died.

But leaving a garden that I had tended, where I had heard the birds' song and seen a praying mantis and heard nature's intelligence communicate with me and actually gotten the message some of the time, where a deer had come to sit on my steps facing me and my friend as we got there to garden one day, just chilled out and watching us placidly, where the runty tomato plant that had seemed dead for two weeks had come back to life and the other ones got all torn up in the microburst but the runt survived, and eating my first tomato (I was not a permaculturist yet then, if you're wondering why I was growing tomatoes) which was green but solid, in my hand, in November, the first thing I had managed to conjure from the earth with my own hands and efforts (and had dug through six feet of fallen branches to rescue after that storm)--to have to leave all of this because somebody else I had never met or talked to was buying the house, this had me cry. It didn't make any sense to me.

Now I can recognize that in many ways life is better where I am now, and I have a landlord who actively supports my gardening and permaculturing craziness. But I also needed to find myself right for feeling exactly the way I felt about it. I am who I am, and this is who I am. Someone said that to me once and it was the wisest thing I've ever heard.

I hope this is helpful for someone and I support you in fully finishing feeling what you are feeling and putting it into words.
 
cameron johnson
Posts: 74
Location: Prattville, Alabama, zone 8, 328ft
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Joshua it seems we could have a lot in common, Im not a man of many words but it has always seemed to be true that I have shed more tears for the planet the land and the animals than I have for people that have passed away around me, but dont get me wrong I loved the people that passed away it just seems that the land speaks to some of us on a very deep level that some people just dont understand and I doubt that I could really make someone else understand what it is lord knows I havent been able to explane it to my wife.
 
Juliet Kemp
author
Posts: 25
Location: London, UK. Temperate, hardiness 9a, heat zone 2, middling damp.
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can absolutely understand how you describe feeling. Leaving is hard.

And of course many people in urban areas have that experience of either having to move on regularly or without having chosen to (because they're renting and at the whim of a landlord); it puts people off in the first place and then if you do decide to put the effort in and then have to move, as you describe, it's easy to be disheartened. I've moved half a garden's worth of pots in the past which is one advantage of containers -- take your garden with you!

If more people gardened maybe it would be easier. I remember once getting a landlord's bill for disposing of my "rubbish pile" in the garden after I'd moved out. I sent a very incensed reply explaining that this was a compost pile, and not only that but a compost pile in a compost bin provided by the council! I really wished then I'd taken that with me too...

I'm glad you're in a good place now with a supportive landlord.
 
Cindi Borax
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I haven't had to leave my first garden/wildcrafting area yet, but the day won't be too long in coming and I think it will feel the same to me as you've described in your experience. Thanks for your post.
 
Think of how stupid the average person is. And how half of them are stupider than that. But who reads this tiny ad?
Quality Hand Tools for the Garden, Homestead and Small Farm.
https://permies.com/t/58443/Quality-Hand-Tools-Garden-Homestead
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!