Friday, June 27, 2014

Gardening Restores Trust in Nature

Judith's P-Patch Landscape as Queen Anne Message Board 
The founder of DONA (Doulas of North America) Penny Simkin likened the effects of a traumatic delivery to PTSD

New in Seattle, a year after the death of our baby daughter during a vaginal breech delivery, I was seeing a Chinese doctor who stated I needed to start gardening. Planting seeds, seeing them germinate and growing into plants would restore my trust in nature, she said. 

I planted green beans in a pot outside our apartment door, and signed up for a plot at the P-Patch (after Picardo Farms) gardens in our neighborhood. The first months I could do nothing but sift soil, removing stones and pebbles. My husband had to come with me and made me plant the seeds in his presence, because I could not do so on my own.

That first year my fear of failure was immense, but the seedlings pushed through the topsoil and grew into flowers and after a 3-week vacation the radishes had grown the size of tennis balls, the flowers blossomed that summer, and bit-by-bit my trust in possibilities returned. And inspired by our harvest I started painting again, albeit at first just to make signs for the composting area, the above P-Patch landscape, and Russian kale.

This work by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
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