By Margaret Duarte
Nature offers us lessons that, when turned into analogies, really sink in.
Last spring, nature demonstrated its power to illustrate an idea in a way both tangible and easy to digest.
While weeding my garden, I noticed that the sweet alyssum and Marguerite daisies that self-sow in my flower beds each year were putting on quite a show.
They were also hampering the growth of the ice plant that was struggling to bloom.
So, I uprooted enough alyssum and Marguerite to fill my wheelbarrow to overflowing, which gave the ice plant an opportunity to mature and grow.
Exposed to the sun and freed of confinement, the ice plant thrived, and was soon putting on its own spectacular show.
Now, the writer in me is always open to an extended metaphor, so I couldn’t help but notice a relationship between eliminating wild and overgrown plants in the garden and eliminating negative or outmoded thoughts in the mind.
Like weeds, negative thoughts—be they thoughts of failure, doubt, and fear, or memories of past hurts, envy, or greed—hamper our growth and need to be uprooted.
The mind needs space for thoughts that empower, uplift, and inspire, in order for us to grow, spread, and blossom.
In other words, put on our own spectacular show.
Ralph Waldo Emerson believed that nature is a great teacher, as expressed in his words below:
“The beauty of nature re-forms itself in the mind, and not for barren contemplation, but for new creation.” Nature, Chapter II, BEAUTY
“Every appearance in nature corresponds to some state of the mind,
and that state of the mind can only be described by presenting that natural appearance as its picture.”
“We know more from nature than we can at will communicate.”
“We are thus assisted by natural objects in the expression of particular meanings.” Nature, Chapter IV, LANGUAGE
Emerson said that Shakespeare didn’t have better life experiences than we do. He just knew how to weed out the fluff and make room for his thoughts to spread and grow into magnificent stories that survived the passage of time.
Therefore, the question becomes: What potential joys and dreams are lost amidst the wild alyssum and daisies in our minds?