By Tanya Ruckstuhl LICSW
As the Equinox draws near, signs of spring are everywhere. Crocuses poke their fragile heads up from the ground, fat buds of future flowers weigh down the tips of rhododendrons and camellias in the garden. The snowfall and rain made the earth heavy and wet. I’ve been swapping around roses and hydrangeas, responding to new light patterns after the weight of the snow broke off tree branches that created shade. The hydrangeas need filtered, indirect light and the roses prefer strong, baking sun.
People are like plants in the garden; different people need different things. Some people thrive best with low levels of stimulation. For these folks, a trip to the market on a Sunday afternoon constitutes all the weekend excitement they need. Others are more stimulation seeking and need social, physical and intellectual pursuits during down time.
The hydrangea is a picky beauty. She needs a lot of water and ample shade. But she’s also a prolific bloomer and one of the only flowers that doesn’t need dead-heading. Worth it! Roses, meanwhile are just as needy. While you don’t have to water them nearly as frequently, they need fertilizer, protection from leaf mold, aphids, deep watering, and plenty of sunlight. You will stab and slice yourself if you keep roses because no matter how careful you are, thorns are sneaky. But a rose in full bloom is the one of the greatest delights. Well, after puppies. And our own children.
In this time of transition, think about your needs. No matter how resilient or tough you are, if you are not taking care of yourself, you will not be able to express your full potential. Like my hydrangeas and roses, you might need a new environment or some other small or large change to be at your best. The cool thing about being human is we have both brains AND mobility. Plants, alas do not. You must cultivate your environment (relationship, home, job, friends, education, activities) to meet your needs. I wish you great success in the garden of your life!