Gardening and Divorce
While this isn’t the beginning of my gardening or divorce journey, I think it is a good place to start. Life on a farm, even a small one, isn’t easy, and this year has been particularly difficult. But sometimes the universe gives you exactly what you need, even if you don’t realize it at the time.
Are you getting divorced?
Yes, yes I am. This question has been asked a lot of me lately, by family, friends, acutance’s, the Facebook world, and even the random friend of the ex I have run into. It’s a complicated situation, but yet not really at the same time. To be honest I think the question is more awkward for the person asking it, then for the one getting asked, at least in my situation it has been. So I am here to tell you that it is ok to ask! And it is ok to answer honestly.
Honestly does not mean a full on ex-husband (or ex-wife) bashing session. An honest answer, ‘yes we are getting divorced’ makes things easier on both parties. Leave the ex bashing for your best friends and some good wine. Not for the well meaning person who you ran into at a social event.
Bash them! Have too much wine, or pick your personal favorite poison, and cry to your best friend. You will feel better, post hang over. But also be the bigger person, and in public, a simple yes, we are getting divorced is perfect. And when people say they are sorry, say thank you and smile. After a few practice rounds it makes what seems like an alternate reality feel more real, and hurt less. No one knows what to say, and the simple, ‘I’m sorry’, might be code for multiple things, but take it as code for ‘I’m here for you’. Take their sympathy and use it to heal your wounds.
What does gardening have to do with divorce?
By now, if you are still reading, you are probably asking what gardening and divorce have in common. To be honest not a whole lot.
There are things that have happened in the past few months that I couldn’t make up if I tried, and I’m going to be sharing them with you. Some of them are sad, some are bizarre, and some are down right hysterical. And some, looking back, are exactly what I needed to help me get through the hardest time in my life, the loss of my marriage.
I lost my marriage, and I lost my garden.
I do not come from a family of farmers, but my dad always had a good sized vegetable garden when we were kids, and he still enjoys gardening. The main reason we moved to the farm, was to have horses. But 11.5 acres is a lot of land, and that meant a lot of space for an awesome garden.
The first year we moved in to late in the season to really plant anything. The second year we had a small garden, mostly because we were so busy with other farm chores and didn’t want to bite off more then we could chew. The third year… this year. I went all out! Weeded all the garden beds, planted tons of veggies, even a few blueberry bushes. My daughter helped and we had a blast planning beds and planting.
Then things got complicated, I got busy, farm chores are way more time consuming when you are doing them by yourself, and then my little mower broke and things got out of control. I did manage to salvage a zucchini and yellow squash plant, and my blueberries, but the tomatoes got over grown with weeds and my cucumbers never grew past a few inches.
I cried. No so much over the loss of the veggies, but just over the loss. The loss of my marriage, the loss of my happy ending, the loss of the man I loved, the loss of the man who had loved me, the loss of a normal childhood for our daughter.
I initiated the garden and couldn’t save it. Not because I was too lazy, but because I was overwhelmed. I got married and started a family, and couldn’t save it. Not because I was lazy, not because he was lazy, but because we got overwhelmed.
But then I got a gift.
I have two mowers, a regular ride on Lowe’s brand riding mower, and a six foot mower deck that runs off the PTO. Both have given me trouble this season. It really has been a season of self discovery. I have learned a lot about myself, and a lot about my farm equipment. But that’s a story for another time, and possibly a few glasses of wine.
I finally get the little mower fixed…. and I get it stuck at the bottom of the hill. Of course right? There was yelling and cursing and finally my frustration boiled over and I cried. Leaned up against my chicken coop and let all of the emotion out. Because sometimes you need too. Sometimes you need to relax and release. Haven’t done this yet? DO IT! I have multiple times in the past few months and every time I feel a little bit better, and each time becomes further and further apart. And I get stronger and stronger.
This time was a little different. As I sat there and started to calm myself down, I smelled something familiar. A childhood smell that instantly put a smile on my face. Not all of the weeds that were now about 12inches tall, were weeds. My chickens grew me tomatoes!
Gardening and Divorce
Right next to my chicken coop now grows the most beautiful tomato plant I’ve ever seen. And it smells amazing! if you have never smelled a tomato plant you probably think I’m a little big crazy, but I am so thankful for that smell. Without it, when my mower was no longer stuck at the bottom of a hill, I would of just mowed right over them!
But why did the tomato plants make me so happy? They reminded me that things were going to be ok. Because the universe will send you what you need, even if you don’t realize it at the time. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes broken and stuck mowers can lead to amazing surprises.
I hadn’t completely lost my garden! Just like I haven’t completely lost my life. My marriage may be over, but I now have a chance to find love with another man. Better yet I have a chance to grow myself; to find true love and happiness within myself. Click To Tweet
My daughter my not have the most picture perfect childhood ever, but who does? What does perfect even look like? She does have an enormous list of people who love her, and she will continue to grow up a chicken loving farm kid. My daughter will have lots of memories surrounding my chicken coop, picking fresh off the vine tomatoes. She will be happier, because I will be happier.
Keep your chin up and find the joy in the little things.
Kasey and her favorite chicken.