My mom has a green thumb–she loves nurturing things and encouraging them to grow. Last weekend she opened her backyard to the public as part of the fundraiser Mary Lou Heard Memorial Garden Tour and drew an enormous crowd of well over 500 visitors within eight hours. FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE (or more). Five hundred people wanted to see her “floating vegetable garden” and array of drought-friendly California native greenery. She organized demonstrations of her mulching bin, gave away poppyseed pods, collected donation money on behalf of participating charities, and patiently answered endless questions about her warm and welcoming backyard.
Upon meeting my mom and seeing her garden, many of my friends say “Well, know we know where you get your creativity.” And it’s true. I don’t think my mom is what you’d call a traditional artist, but she is an enormous advocate of shaping your own world. Don’t like the state your garden is in? Make it your own! Don’t like the looks of your career/attitude/lifestyle? Take action, educate yourself, try to envision where certain seeds will grow best in the garden of your life, and then plant them there. Tend to them and then try another place or different seeds if nothing happens. Stay restless—because gardens need to be maintained and eventually replanted, as many things and people will require your attention in life, and someday much of what you are familiar with will come to an end, as well.
Right now my mom’s backyard is classified by the National Wildlife Federation as an Certified Wildlife Habitat due to the environmental sustainability of the foliage she rears and the insects, birds, and small animals it attracts. If you know me, you know I love animals and pets. I wonder where I get it from?
I think some people feel a little useless when they get older and their children have found new interests and don’t rely on them as much for anything. But really, I still learn things from my parents and use skills and values that they taught me (both on purpose and accidentally!) every single day. It’s like now as an adult I see more of my mother in me than I ever have before, and I don’t just mean when I look in the mirror! I’m so thankful that she is who she is and was able to help me become who I am.
Happy Mother’s Day!