Inspired by change, challenge and creativity

Conversations In The Garden: On Growth


“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ~Cynthia Occelli




It seems appropriate in late autumn to look back on the garden.  As I assess my garden, weed and clear a bit of debris, I look for the changes my garden has been going through.  How it has grown, and what future paths it may take.



And with this time in my garden, I also look inward.  To reflect on where I have grown and how far I have come this past year.  Autumn spells the time of moving from the full moon of summer to the waning moon….a great time of introspection…of restoration and preparing for the dreaming time of winter.



DSCN8714So what do I see in my garden as it declines and goes back to the soil…to the roots?  I see seeds forming everywhere.  Nuggets of wisdom that are forming on the plants, falling to the ground or flying on the breeze to land and grow again.  Perhaps morphing a bit, growing bigger and stronger plants.



Seeds are amazing.  To me the giver of life.  They hold everything that is needed to grow a complete plant that bears fruit or flower.  They symbolize the cycle of life.  And when I hold seeds in my hand, I am grateful for their work.



In order to grow, we do have to crack our hard outer shells, much like a seed.  We draw in nutrients to help us set down deep roots.  Then we grow from those core roots finally producing fruit.  But it doesn’t end there.  As that fruit holds the seeds to continue the cycle of life.  During autumn, I look for the seeds that are being formed inside of me.  Which will I give nourishment to so the fruit of my dreams is realized.



DSCN8712My garden is the perfect spot to reflect on life.  And my life seems to follow nature….follow the seasons and the cycles of the moon.  And while the seed represents my life, I think it also represents my soul.  So I come to sit with my soul now in the waning garden, under a waning moon.  To meditate in silence, clear the debris and make room for new growth to come.



We are growing constantly even if we don’t immediately see it.  Nothing in nature remains the same, and so it is with us.  And as the changes I have gone through this year reach the nourishing light of day, I am grateful for them all.  These changes represent times of learning and growth.



So now I take seeds into my hands in autumn, and cast them upon the barren soil wishing them gratitude with water and light….planning and dreaming in winter to see them sprout in spring.  There is no fear as I wait and dream….just pure joy and anticipation for changes yet to come.




So how is the garden of your life?  What dreams have you been casting onto the soil?







Special Note:  The pictures here are of Autumn grasses from my garden this year, as nature prepares to cast the seeds produced.  Letting them rest as she turns her energies inward to replenish herself.




I leave you with a few additional words On Growth.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.


All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

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  1. November 19, 2015    

    I love that quote, Donna, so true literally and as a metaphor for the garden of life. We planted grass seed and it came up nicely ~ I was elated to see a green lawn in the middle of Autumn. It’s been beautiful in NY. 🙂

    • November 19, 2015    

      Indeed autumn has been wonderful Loredana! I am so happy you really enjoyed the post and quote.

  2. November 19, 2015    

    Thank you Donna.
    A beautiful, and timely reminder. And, just as it is for plants, sometimes our seeds need to go through fire before they can germinate.

    • November 19, 2015    

      Perfectly said Soosie! Fire, cold…any and all good and bad conditions help us grow.

  3. Sue Sue
    November 19, 2015    

    Sounds like you’re having a great second act.

    • November 19, 2015    

      It has been a fun and interesting journey so far, Sue!

  4. November 19, 2015    

    Such thoughtful reflections. I love your ending image and quote…so many gems to meditate upon here, thank you, Donna.

    I was raking the other day and the peony was lying there…all its dead branches yellowed and fallen…I thought I might remove them but I didn’t know they were still so strong…carelessly I tugged and pulled loose near the roots where parts of the bulb will still live underground. Pinkish red parts came loose with the dead.

    I felt so bad…I’m an amateur gardener but any way, I felt a deeper meaning tugging on me…maybe that of how we treat ourselves in removing the old ways of being that maybe they’re deeply connected to the roots so we must be gentle and take care not to lose the good while removing the bad…I’m still wrapping my thoughts around this but I thought you’d have some insight and/or appreciate it.

    Thank you, for your wisdom and that of your garden, too.

    • November 19, 2015    

      Oh my Hannah what an amazing metaphor. Those yellowed parts of us we think are dead are still attached strongly to us….sometimes we tug and pull and still we can’t rid ourselves of them without letting go of our good parts…so yes, gentle removal….letting go of those parts that no longer serve us. What a delight to have you share this Hannah…it is so meaningful!

  5. November 20, 2015    

    what are those wonderful grass heads? ahh the seeds of the future – with age, I sometimes feel resistant and want to hang on to the past til the winds of change blow me onward! You seem better at going with the flow.

    • November 20, 2015    

      It has been a deliberate practice Laura…and I am still learning….I like your description of the grass seed heads.

  6. Susan@life-change-compost Susan@life-change-compost
    November 20, 2015    

    I love what Soosie wrote and also Hannah. The theme of “being in the fire” is age old alchemical model for turning lesser metals into gold. I’m still trying to “love what is” to quote Byron Katie. This may take my whole life long! The garden is a perfect place to practice that.

    • November 20, 2015    

      This why I love to write these posts…the conversations…the revelations and lessons shared….I think it is a lesson most of us will be practicing for a long time….I know I will Susan.

  7. November 20, 2015    

    This post is full of wisdom. Your metaphor tells me also that to grow is to be open to risk. The process of growth can’t carry on in its natural cycle of we create a tough protective shell around ourselves. I find myself wondering if this is also a metaphor for our country in these difficult times: if we respond to threats by trying to create walls to keep us safe, we will only ensure stagnation and eventual death of the best ideals of our nation. Thanks for this.

    • November 21, 2015    

      Thank you Jean….yes the metaphor can be taken to extend to what is happening in the world. It is a huge lesson I have learned and have been able to extend to so much of my life.

  8. November 21, 2015    

    Years ago my ex-husband exclaimed, after holding our newborn child, “To think everything she needs is right here!” It’s so true. We are all born with that seed of Everything. It’s all there. What we do with it is different for every person, of course, but does give one pause. I love this when I think about seeds, as you have written so perfectly here, Donna.

    • November 21, 2015    

      Oh too kind Ginnie…your husband said it beautifully all those years ago. I love it!

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