Growing up, I remember watching my god mother take care of her garden during one of my visits to West Virginia. She would painstakenly pull up weeds, till the soil, and intricately place seeds in well crafted rows. She had an amazing green thumb and her garden looked like something out of Home and Garden magazine. One this one particular visit, I watched as she dragged out a huge bag that had the word “manure” written on it. I watched as she gathered up all her strength to pull this bag into her garden, drop it next to the area where she was working and cut the bag open in order to distribute the contents inside. Maaaaaaaaaaaan when she opened that bag! Ooooooweeee the most awful smell consumed the air. Me, being my curious self, asked my god mother what the word “manure” meant (I knew what it smelled like, but I had to ask). Now, my god mother (God rest her soul) was never one to shy away from using colorful words and she did not shy away from telling the truth. She looked me straight in the eye and said these words…“Baby girl, it’s sh*t. Sometimes your seeds have to be covered in sh*t in order to get beautiful flowers and vegetables in your garden.”
At the time, I did not realize how profound that statement was. All I knew was manure smelled really bad and I did not like that, but it played a part in the growth of fresh vegetables to eat and beautiful flowers to view. When I reached adulthood I realized what my god mother meant. Life can be like a garden. We plant seeds with our hopes, goals, and dreams. We water our seeds and till our soil only to see bad weeds pop up in the midst of our hard work. Then we get fertilizer added to soil.
It is because of that day with my god mother, I have been calling my bad days “fertilizer days”. Every day will not be full of gum drops and rainbows. Some days will feel like you have been pushed into a huge pile of manure with no way of escape. To be real, I have had plenty of fertilizer days. This week alone has me longing for fresh air. From being knocked down because of the flu to trying to navigate through work stress and catching up on things that I was unable to do. I can honestly say, this week has not been easy and I have shed some tears; however, I cannot help but think there are seeds in my garden that need to be fertilized.
I have learned that fertlizer days always produce things so beautiful and greater than I could ever imagine. I have gained wisdom from fertilizer days. I have gained strength from fertilizer days. I have even gained some wonderful life-long friendships from fertilizer days. I am pretty sure your garden (life) has seen its share of manure. It is not about the manure, it is about the growth produced. The weight of the bag may be heavy, the contents of the bag may stink to high heaven but when those seeds turn into beautiful flowers and fresh vegetables, you will forget about the manure. Guess what! All those seeds you have been planting need fertilizer to grow, but do not worry, your garden has already started to be beautiful.
Grab your journal for this one. Whenever you have a fertilizer day, write down what happen during this time that was not plesant for you. Next, write down what you can learn from this fertilizer day. Finally, write down how this day can better prepare you for what comes next.