There are things I write to publish, but more often I write to process. Sometimes things happen that rummage the peace in my head. And sometimes, certain things happen that create a domino effect. It’s like that one piece of the puzzle that suddenly shows the full picture, even if some pieces are still missing.
Sometimes it feels like my insides look like a golf course where the wild boars had a feast. The carefully tended grass is ruined, but the roots underneath are visible now. And not just the roots, but also the seeds of beautiful flowers that never came to sprout because the grass was suffocating them, are now visible. Vulnerable. But they are there. Hesitantly the seeds break open when the sunrays hit them. The roots they grow are strong and grow much deeper than the grass ever did. That grass was never meant to be there. It was a cover-up of things more delicate, but also much more beautiful, enchanting and inspiring.
And when the drops of a rain of tears fall down on the seeds and the emotions wash them clean, the flowers appear to grow so fast and strong, tearing open the rest of the turf that is still there.
When I let my old world crumble and fall to pieces, it can feel like everything is lost. But the opposite might be true. The gardeners, who always seemed so caring, might have been my own worst enemy; the golf players along with them. They might have cared for the vast, meticulously kept greens. But did they really see? Or did they see what they needed? The things that kept their version of a perfect world unimpaired?
I am an ecologist; I am trained to see beyond what is planted. I am trained to see the natural capacities and abundance of forests and nature. But having clear sight on my own backyard? That’s the largest challenge of all.
Who is the Trump in my life, either appearing as a person I relate with or as a critical voice in my head, telling me to put pipelines in my holy ground?
Sometimes it’s not so clear. Sometimes it’s only visible in the rearview mirror.
Sometimes you need a friend to share their experiences with you to get a not so subtle smack on the head, clearing up the fog.
Sometimes it’s painful when the steering-wheel you thought you were holding was fake, just like a little kid on a bicycle, believing you made the turns, while in fact it was daddy holding the real steering-wheel.
The moment when things become clear – or at least clearer than before – that’s the most painful of all. The self-doubt: ‘Why didn’t I see? Why did I doubt myself so much all the time?’ And also: ‘But who says I’m right this time?’
There’s no objective truth when it comes to feelings and emotions. It’s always my perception versus yours. I can only align with what is my truth; with the native flora and fauna in my garden. I do know I don’t like golf.
And when that first and painful moment creates space for me to see, I can take that spade back from the gardener and start forking the soil over, helping the covered seeds to see the light. That powerful feeling of taking back the management of my own fertile soil, even when there’s a risk the seeds won’t flourish, or someone throws in a seed bomb with plants I don’t like. Or birds come and eat the seeds. It is happening – again and again.
But deep down I feel that we are all capable of overcoming the challenges and making our gardens, our wild forests and vast green plains flourish.