Sometimes I see an exquisitely landscaped garden, by most people's standards, but somehow when I look at it, it just leaves me cold. It has no personality, no depth. It might just as well have been a movie set for all of the authenticity and personality it reflects. Who are the people who own this garden? What does it tell me about them? Are they the old-fashioned, English country garden type? Do they love tropical plants and warm breezes? Are they committed to sustainable, organic gardens, or do they just hand over some money and tell the landscaper, "Make it gorgeous so the neighbors will rave?"
I think what a garden looks like says a lot about the people who planted it. When you take away all the frills and do-dads, all that really remains is the love that is put into it. With each rose, with each tomato, with each hummingbird feeder, the love of the earth, and of all of us who live on it, reflects out from the garden to all who see it.
Isn't that a great metaphor for life? When you strip away all of the fancy outer layers - the cars, the clothes, the makeup, the houses, etc - all that remains is the pure, authentic person underneath, and the core of each and every one of those authentic people is love. When we love ourselves full out, with no reservations or stipulations, the outer self blossoms. Our smiles are beautiful, our joy is palpable, and our thirst for life is contagious. When someone passes us on the street or sees us in a store, they are drawn to our energy like a bee to a flower. We don't need all of those outer trappings that our culture says we need to shine. Self love has more power than a roof full of solar panels! A beautiful rose starts from the same kind of seed as every other rose. Whether it grows or doesn't grow only depends on the amount of love and attention it gets from Mother Nature and the one who planted it.
So I guess my question for you is this: what are you planting in your inner garden? Are you loving all that good, rich soil in which to plant your field of dreams? Are you reaching for the sun with your face turned up in expectation? Or is your garden a cold copy from a magazine just like a hundred others? The love you give your inner garden will yield bounty in your outer garden beyond your wildest expectations!
And so it is.