Back in the 1990s, I had a film crew taping interviews with customers who had bought a gardening product called the ComposTumbler … a product I marketed from 1986 to 2009. One interview with an older gentleman, a master gardener in California, has forever stayed in my mind.
When asked why he bought the product his answer started with, because “Your plants are only as good as the soil they’re planted in. . .” He went on to say that the compost he made because of having this product gave him fabulous soil for his plants.
Isn’t it the same for us humans as well?
We are only as good as the soil we’re planted in.
Healthy soil lets us bloom where we’re planted. We can flourish…do good things…make a positive difference in the world around us.
Like beautiful flowers we can brighten the lives of those we know as well as strangers we’ve never met.
Like a bountiful vegetable garden we can provide essential nourishment for healthy living.
But to live a healthy life, we need to plant ourselves in healthy soil. Which makes me think of the huge health threat we are all facing together – the Coronavirus and its many variants.
For a year and a half this threat to our health has changed our lives forever.
Trips and vacations canceled.
Family holidays spent apart.
Schools closed; children not getting educated.
Manufacturing slowed; jobs lost.
Product shortages and long lead times to get products we used to take for granted.
Hospitals and medical facilities unable to meet demand.
Businesses closed; never to reopen.
And the list is much longer than that.
Meanwhile, the healthy soil that could get us out of this stunted life, where we can’t grow and flourish, begins with a willingness to get a vaccine. It’s not a cure; just a brief reprieve that buys more time while a cure is pursued.
The reasons people have for not getting the vaccine are many. But they’re hard to accept when the alternative is so much more frightening.
Most of us have gone back to our new normal, and the risks to our health have jumped at alarming rates because of that.
My grandmother, an exceptional gardener all her life, used to say that “A garden is a gift you give for all to enjoy.”
That message really resonated with me when in 2010 I moved from my second floor apartment where I had planted a dense garden of beautiful flowers in pots on my balcony patio. A neighbor I didn’t know, except to wave to when I was on my balcony, stopped one day and let me know that seeing my gorgeous garden of color was the happy highlight of every day for her and she was going to really miss it after I moved.
It wasn’t me she would miss; but she would miss what I had given her, gorgeous flowers to enjoy every day because I inherited my grandmother’s love of gardening.
That’s how I view the taking of the Covid vaccine. The choice to get it is not just something I do for myself. It’s a gift I give to those around me. Strangers and friends alike.
And now that 6-months from my second vaccine has passed, I will get the booster.
I choose to plant myself in healthy soil. And in the interim I’ve started wearing masks again. I don’t like it; but I do it.
I have a husband with at-risk health circumstances who would not survive a fight with the Covid virus. I do it because I would never want to be the cause of him facing that fight.
I have grandchildren, too young to get a vaccine. I do it because I would never want to see them have to fight and endure such a deadly disease, where the long-term side effects are still unknown.
I have friends and family I want to continue seeing and socializing with. I do it so I will never be the source of a horrible illness for any of them.
When you think of all the choices you have I hope you will choose to plant yourself in healthy soil where you can grow, flourish, bloom, and make life better for those around you.
“To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul .”Rudyard Kipling